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Directed by Rolf de Heer

Australia 2013 108 mins. In Yolngu Matha, English

This year’s Australian submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar features a soulful performance from David Gulpilil, who received the Best Actor award at the Cannes Film Festival. Gulpilil is Charlie, a restless elder in alcohol-free Arnhem Land reservation who feels the government’s growing grip on his culture while he decries the rapid disappearance of Yolngu traditions. Although well past his prime, Charlie decides to “go bush” and sets out into the wild to practice the old ways, without reckoning how much things really have changed and exactly where he might be going. Eloquently depicting the daily indignities endured by a marginalized and impoverished people, Charlie, with both bemusement and despair, confronts modern society with outrage, resilient humor, and more than a measure of mischief.