For everyone Film review: My Name is Gulpilil, ABCG Film 9


Mercurial screen presence David Gulpilil made his first indelible mark on cinema with Nicholas Roeg’s seminal Walkabout in 1971. An early bright spark of Australia’s New Wave, it established Gulpilil as a magnetic force.

He went on to work with fellow New Wave proponent Peter Weir on apocalyptic vision The Last Wave, and countless unforgettable movies since, including beloved kids’ film Storm Boy, smash hit Crocodile Dundee, heartbreaker Rabbit-Proof Fence and mesmeric Ten Canoes.

Now at the end of his days, rather than steal words from his mouth, good friend and documentary director Molly Reynolds allows Gulpilil the dignity of telling his own story in this elegiac ode to a life well lived. Gone are the talking heads. He is his own narrator.

Encompassing all these movies and more, it also gives a remarkable insight into his personal triumphs and regrets, and a glimpse at his hilarious one-man theatre show, which recalls him crossing paths with Mohamed Ali, Bob Marley and QEII. Gulpilil may one day leave us but will never be forgotten. 

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