Somewhere in australia 4 main characters are trying to apprehend an aboriginal fella for allegedly murdering a white woman. Rolf De Heer’s film “the tracker” tackles the issue of racism between the white people and the indigenous.
The 4 characters in the film were, the tracker (David Gulpilil), the fanatic (Gary sweet), the follower (Damon gameau) and the veteran (grant page). Their interactions in the film tracker are odd, there is not much speaking however the silence between them highlight the differences they have.
The violence in the film was portrayed through paintings done by peter coad, Rolf De Heer used paintings in the movie to make it less violent for younger audiences so that it reaches more people.
In the film, Rolf De Heer uses only aboriginal music as it matches the mood of the film, the soundtrack for the film matches each part specifically to give it a more realistic feel to it.
The tracker (David Gulpilil) represents the good in a man which is portrayed in “the whipping scene” where the tracker himself waits for the fallen team member to catch up to the group before they continue moving. His determination is what prompts the follower to feel the amount of respect for the tracker that he does. The tracker is essentially the genius of the team but he acts clueless to trick the fanatic into making him think that he was in control. The tracker is fair with his decision and has a reason for everything that he does.
The fanatic (Gary Sweet) is a strong and opinionated character often seen as ‘the evil one’ of the team as he represents a typical racist white man throughout the entire movie and is consistently undermining the indigenous Australians. The fanatics role in the film was to bring out the good in the tracker and the follower as his actions and the things he says are rude and obnoxious towards the other characters in the film.
The follower in the film (Damon Gameau) follows and mimics the ways of the fanatics at the start assisting him with the taunting of degrading the small aboriginal tribe. However as the film progresses the follower was forced to watch the fanatic brutally and without mercy, murder the small aboriginal tribe. The follower almost immediately diminishes all respect that he has for the fanatic after witnessing the murder, the followers diminishing respect is shown in the scene where the follower holds a gun to the fanatics head ordering him to cease fire. The diminishing of the respect for the fanatic is parallel to the respect progressing. The follower does not actually witness the tracker ending the fanatics life as he was asleep however he did put the pieces together
The role of the veteran in the film was very short as he dies before we even reach halfway through the film but before he dies he introduces a very important point in the film. His position in the film was behind the fanatic he was introduced as basically the wingman of the fanatic. The veteran would consistently follow the fanatic listening to his every order and enforcing his every word.