9059418609292301808.jpg
Screen cap from promotional trailer
form y Samson and Delilah single work   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009 2009
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Samson and Delilah tells the story of two Aboriginal teenagers in a remote community. They live in a sparse environment but one that absorbs all manner of cultural influences, where dot painting and country music exist side by side. Samson gets through his days by sniffing, while Delilah is the caregiver for her nana before taking a moment for herself to listen to Latino music. Their journey ranges across many of the most urgent issues concerning Indigenous people in Australia, homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and substance abuse, but it does so with tenderness, dignity, and even humour.'

Source: Adelaide Film Festival website, www.adelaidefilmfestival.org/ Sighted: 23/02/2009

Notes

  • Samson and Delilah was chosen as Australia's official entry for best foreign language film for the 2009 Academy Awards. (The award nominations and winners are announced in 2010.)
  • Samson and Delilah was awarded the 2009 Film of the Year by the Australian Catholic Film Office.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Language: Warlpiri
Notes:
Some dialogue in Warlpiri with English subtitles.

Works about this Work

10 Best Australian Films Made by First-time Directors Luke Buckmaster , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 2 March 2016;
From Massacre Creek to Slaughter Hill : The Tracks of Mystery Road Peter Kirkpatrick , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 10 no. 1 2016; (p. 143-155)
'Ivan Sen’s 2013 feature Mystery Road [dir., 2013. Sydney: Mystery Road Films] seeks to break out of the arthouse mould of most Aboriginal cinema in its calculated adaptation of two seemingly disparate Hollywood genres, film noir and the western: genres which are foregrounded in the style and marketing of the film. Aaron Pedersen in his starring role as ‘Indigenous cowboy detective’ Jay Swan strikes a delicate balance between his compromised role as agent of the state and as freewheeling hero, for his role as a detective is underpinned by the ‘treacherous’ historical legacy of the tracker. In this article, I trace the central importance of the tracker figure in a reading of Mystery Road, taking in, among other texts, Sen's 1999 film Wind [dir., 1999. Australia: Mayfan Film Productions] and Arthur Upfield's ‘Bony’ novels. The troubled status of the tracker feeds into the noirish elements of Mystery Road, which ultimately requires a new kind of hero to emerge so that retribution may be enacted for past and present wrongs. That hero is the cowboy, a part for which Pedersen has been dressed all along.' (Publication abstract)
Meet the Woman Bringing Aboriginal Cinema to the Screens of Paris Sandra Phillips (interviewer), 2016 single work interview
— Appears in: The Conversation , 2 June 2016;

'In a tiny cinema in the Latin Quarter of Paris, something very unusual for French filmgoers is on display. For five days, the programme at Cinema La Clef is devoted not to the latest Hollywood blockbusters, nor to the finest French cinema, but to the best examples of Australian Indigenous film-making.'

'The first Festival of Australian Aboriginal Cinema (La Festival du Cinéma Aborigène Australien) will showcase films that may have garnered awards at Cannes, but are nonetheless unfamiliar to audiences in one of the world’s capitals of cinematic culture. It is the first festival of its kind in Europe.'

French Feel for Festival Penelope Debelle , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 3 June 2015; (p. 24)
New Wave Rising : The Stunning Success of Indigenous Australian Film and Television Rochelle Siemienowicz , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Kill Your Darlings , January no. 16 2014;

'When Deborah Mailman and Shari Sebbens, stars of the hit 2012 Australian film The Sapphires, made the statements above they were speaking breathlessly to the media after the 2nd Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (AACTA). Standing alongside golden-voiced songbird, Jessica Mauboy, Mailman and Sebbens were glowing with fierce pride, not just for The Sapphires' accomplishments - eleven AACTA Awards in total, along with critical success, standout local box office of A$15 million, and a global distribution deal with the Weinstein Company - but also for the nomination of ABC telemovie Mabo and the two awards won by acclaimed Indigenous ABC TV drama series, Redfern Now, which happened to be the first Australian drama series written, directed and produced by Indigenous Australians, and was watched by more than 700, 000 viewers.' (Publisher's summary)

Shades of Indigenous Belonging in Samson & Delilah Henk Huijser , Brooke Collins-Gearing , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: New Scholar , vol. 3 no. 1 2014;

'Warwick Thornton’s 2009 film Samson & Delilah was surprisingly untimely on a number of levels. In terms of its cinematic approach, it is a film that provokes a sense of untimeliness, as it seems out of step with other contemporary Australian films. This applies firstly in terms of the way in which the film consciously uses time in its structure—for example in the way it uses a cyclical motif to reinforce the specific way in which time impacts on the main characters’ everyday lives, while at the same time using this cyclical motif to provide humour and light relief. Secondly, the film can be untimely in the sense that it is firmly grounded in the present, which is unusual for a film set in outback Australia and one that focuses on an Indigenous story. Samson & Delilah is a contemporary story that does not displace its Indigenous characters by assigning them, and their connection to country, to history. Rather, the film situates its characters (and their struggles) very firmly in the context of country and of contemporary struggles, thereby ironically creating a sense of untimeliness. At the same time however, this means that in subtle ways, the film creates a sense of place, and by extension a sense of belonging (for both Indigenous and non-­‐Indigenous experiences) that works on two different levels: inside the film for its characters, and outside the film for its audience. None of this means that the film is out of step with history, but rather that it is out of step with Australian film history, in which there has been a tendency to position Indigenous Australians in one of two main paradigms: either as ‘noble savages’ living in harmony with and on the land, or as lost and hopeless city dwellers, divorced from their culture. Neither of these paradigms allows for the many different experiences of belonging which Indigenous Australian peoples inhabit.' (Author's introdiction)

Case Studies 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Indigenous Film and Television Digital Bibliography 2014;

'Synopsis and bibliographies for selected Indigenous Australian films from locations across Australia including: Samson & Delilah, Beneath Clouds, Bran Nue Dae , The Sapphires, and Toomelah. '

Respecting Protocols for Representing Aboriginal Cultures Jared Thomas , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 14 no. 3 2014;
'This essay undertakes a detailed discussion of how respecting protocols for representing Indigenous cultures supports the interests of Indigenous communities and producers of stories with Indigenous content. To highlight the importance of Indigenous protocols I review the prominence and reception of Aboriginal stories in Australian film and literature and discuss how protocol guidelines can prevent problematic representations. I demonstrate how protocols influenced writing Calypso Summer (2014), a novel exploring issues relating to my cultural group, the Nukunu, to illustrate the challenges encountered and benefits gained from employing Indigenous representation protocols. ' (Author's introduction)
Racializing the Social Problem : Reception of Samson and Delilah in Germany Oliver Haag , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 28 no. 5 2014; (p. 666-677)
'This article examines elements of German reception of the Aboriginal Australian film Samson and Delilah (2009). There is a discrepancy between the film's recognition at the Cannes Film Festival and its less enthusiastic audience reception. On the basis of qualitative interviews with German viewers, this article traces some of the patterns of reception and shows that audiences did not recognize the cultural codes of Aboriginal sovereignty and agency contained in this film. Instead, Samson and Delilah has largely been interpreted through dominant German cultural frameworks on race and racism. The film's reception has thereby resulted in the opposite effect of a racialized construction of social problems conferred upon Aboriginal Australians. The main reason for different comprehension of the film's cultural codes, as this study argues, lies in the lacking rendition of culturally unfamiliar codes...'
Samson and Delilah (Warwick Thornton, 2009) Tess Fisher , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , March no. 70 2014;

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Samson and Delilah : Rewatching Classic Australian Films Luke Buckmaster , 2014 single work review
— Appears in: The Guardian Australia , 11 April 2014;

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Kangaroos, Petrol, Joints and Sacred Rocks : Australian Cinema Decolonized Kerstin Knoph , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , October vol. 7 no. 2-3 2013; (p. 189-200)
'This article takes issue with the colonial imaginary of Indigenous people in Australia that is deconstructed by contemporary Indigenous films. It briefly discusses the concept of ‘decolonizing the lens of power’ and ‘returning/reversing the colonial gaze’. Through a close analysis of the two films Stone Bros. and Samson & Delilah, both made in the spirit and context of Kevin Rudd’s national apology to the Indigenous people of Australia, it will present Indigenous decolonizing work in cinema. It concentrates on their presentation of modern Indigenous life and cultural traditions, political and historical criticism, play with stereotypes, film-making aesthetics and employment of mainstream genres.' (Author's abstract)
Re-reading Indigenous Cinema : Criticism, White Liberal Guilt and Otherness Stephen Gaunson , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 27 no. 6 2013; (p. 763-769)
'In this paper, I will advance a critical perspective of some methodologies on appraising Indigenous films, in terms of their aesthetic as well as their cultural value. In doing this, I propose a cultural and textual approach that gives the films a context for which they can be critically understood. With a heavy emphasis on the political content of many Indigenous films, here I argue for a more critical pedagogical evaluation that considers the challenges of Indigenous films and problems that arise when we ignore to discuss them as ‘cinema’. Through surveying a number of recent Indigenous films, and the criticism that surrounds them, I concentrate on how they can be better used as texts to enhance the study of world cinema and cultural issues of Aboriginality.' (Author's abstract)
“ Behind Every Suffering, There is a Human Life Worth Loving” : Receptions and Perceptions of Uniqueness, Universality and Hope in Warwick Thornton’s Samson and Delilah Estelle Castro , 2013 single work essay criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia , vol. 4 no. 1 2013; (p. 158-176)
This essay demonstrates that the film Samson and Delilah 'phenomenal success on its home soil and abroad stems both from its specific emphasis on Aboriginal characters and lives and from its universality, and...from its poignant portrayal of unconditional love between the main characters.' (Source: Abstract)
Cultural Creep Nick Bryant , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Griffith Review , Winter no. 36 2012; (p. 118-131)
'TODAY it would be called a reality show, but in the early 1950s the Australian Broadcasting Commission's Incognito was billed as light entertainment. Alas, no recording of the radio program survives in the corporation's vast audio archive. Nor does it earn a mention in Ken Inglis's two-volume authorised history of the ABC. Yet Incognito is one of the most influential programs the national broadcaster has ever put to air, if only because it caught the ear of the Melbourne-based critic AA Phillips. The idea, thought Phillips, was quaint enough: to pit a local artist against a foreign guest, with the audience asked to adjudicate. Occasionally, listeners would favour the home-grown performer, thus producing 'a nice glow of patriotic satisfaction'. The program, however, was founded on the belittling premise that 'the domestic product will be worse than the imported article.' Phillips coined a neat description for this 'disease of the Australian mind' and immediately his aphorism, described in a 1950 Meanjin essay of the same name, took hold: 'the cultural cringe'.' (Author's introduction)
Hybridity, Power Discourse and Evolving Representations of Aboriginality (1970s - Today) Sue Ryan-Fazilleau , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 26 no. 1 2012; (p. 29-34)
'This essay examines the changing role played by the politicized concept of hybridity in filmic representations of Aboriginal identity over the past four decades...' (29)
The Aboriginal Voice in Baz Luhrmann's Left-Leaning Australia (2008) D. Bruno Starrs , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 26 no. 4 2012; (p. 625-636)
'Arguing that Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008) is a big-budget, non-independent film espousing a left-leaning political ideology in its non-racist representations of Aborigines on film, this paper suggests the addition of a 'fourth formation' to the 1984 Moore and Muecke model is warranted. According to their theorizing, racist 'first formation' films promote policies of assimilation whereas 'second formation' films avoid overt political statements in favour of more acceptable multicultural liberalism. Moore and Muecke's seemingly ultimate 'third formation films', however, blatantly foreground the director's leftist political dogma in a necessarily low budget, independent production. Australia, on the other hand, is an advance on the third formation because its left-leaning feminized Aboriginal voice is safely backed by a colossal production budget and indicates a transformation in public perceptions of Aboriginal issues. Furthermore, this paper argues that the use of low-cost post-production techniques such as voice-over narration by racially appropriate individuals and the use of diegetic song in Australia work to ensure the positive reception of the left-leaning message regarding the Stolen Generations. With these devices Luhrmann effectively counters the claims of right-wing denialists such as Andrew Bolt and Keith Windschuttle.' (Author's abstract, 625)
Seriously Funny : History and Humour in The Sapphires and Other Indigenous Comedies Rose Capp , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , July no. 63 2012;
'The Sapphires (Wayne Blair, 2012) opens in an idyllic rural setting. A group of young Aboriginal girls run home across the paddocks in the fading evening light to sing for a gathering of family and friends. But this benign atmosphere rapidly switches to terror as white Australian Government officials arrive on the scene and forcibly remove one of the girls from the Cummeraganja Mission community. It is the late 1960s, and State and Federal Government "child protection" policies allow the removal of so-called "half-caste" Aboriginal children from their families, leaving a devastating and traumatic legacy that the film goes on to address.' (Author's introduction)
TV Fails the Screen Test for this Culture Gillian Armstrong , 2012 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 1 October 2012; (p. 11)
Big Screen to Small Screen : Australasian Film and Its New Formats Karina Aveyard , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , November vol. 6 no. 2 2012; (p. 103-109)
'One of the most profound shifts to have occurred in film consumption over the past century has been the emergence of technologies that support viewing outside movie theatres. Platforms such as television, home video, DVD/ Blu-ray and PCs brought film into our homes. More recent innovations such as iPad, laptops and smart phones allow film to travel with us, offering audiences unprecedented viewing flexibility and convenience. Collectively these non-theatrical formats have radically transformed the locational interface of film spectatorship - transporting it from something available only to consumers in a public setting to something that can be watched in a wide range of private and shared spaces. As has been noted by authors including Henry Jenkins (2006) and Ramon Lobato (2012), these developments have significantly broadened the scope and opportunities for cinematic engagement and participation.' (Author's introduction)
Heir Apparent Des Partridge , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 25 - 26 April 2009; (p. 6-7)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
A World beyond Words David Stratton , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 May 2009; (p. 21)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Film of the Week Tom Ryan , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Age , 3 May 2009; (p. 26)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Silent Life of 'Untouchables' Amanda Dardanis , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 3 May 2009; (p. 9)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Lessons in Empathy for Racist Australia Tim Kroenert , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 8 May vol. 19 no. 8 2009;

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Painful Truths in Love Story from a Country's Heart Sandra Hall , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 7 May 2009; (p. 14)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
A Quiet Love Story That Takes Risks Jane Freebury , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 9 May 2009; (p. 26)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Untitled Rob Lowing , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 10 May 2009; (p. 14)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Tough-Love Story Pulls No Punches Jim Schembri , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 7 May 2009; (p. 21)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Love Story Set in Alice 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 6 May no. 450 2009; (p. 16)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Film 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Brisbane News , 13 - 19 May no. 734 2009; (p. 23)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Leaving Home Lynden Barber , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Limelight , May 2009; (p. 70)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
A World Away from Our Nations Shame Amy McQuire , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: National Indigenous Times , June vol. 8 no. 179 2009; (p. 31)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Film Proves a Major Hit 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 20 May no. 451 2009; (p. 48)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Press Cuts : Sydney Morning Herald 2009 single work review
— Appears in: National Indigenous Times , 14 May vol. 8 no. 177 2009; (p. 28)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Aboriginal Tale wins Cannes Accolades 2009 single work review
— Appears in: National Indigenous Times , 28 May vol. 8 no. 178 2009; (p. 6)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Hostile Territory Hannah Schuerholz , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Arena Magazine , August-September no. 101 2009; (p. 60-61)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Movie of the Week Paul Kalina , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 16 November 2009; (p. 18)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
The Making of a Masterpiece Graeme Blundell , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 21-22 November 2009; (p. 27-28)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV ; Making Samson and Delilah Beck Cole 2009 single work film/TV
Untitled Heide Fruth-Sachs , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: Zeitschrift fur Australienstudien , no. 24 2010; (p. 183-188)

— Review of Samson and Delilah Warwick Thornton 2009 single work film/TV
Outback Kids Feel the Love in Movie Michael Bodey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 21-22 February 2009; (p. 11)
Australian Film is Alive and Kicking Goals Paul Kalina , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 24 February 2009; (p. 16)
Reel Time Michael Bodey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 25 February 2009; (p. 14)
Bridging the Gaps Sarah Parkes , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 18 April 2009; (p. 23)
Locals Star in Powerful Tale of Tough Times Andra Jackson , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 18 April 2009; (p. 5)
Finding Salvation in Film Steve Dow , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 26 April 2009; (p. 8)
Tough Love Michael Bodey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 May 2009; (p. 18-19)
An Australia Often Unseen Kathy Marks , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: Sunday Canberra Times , 3 May 2009; (p. 22)
Five Stars a Happy Beginning to Indigenous Love Story Michael Bodey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 May 2009; (p. 3)
Untold Love Story Hits Our Screens Alyssa Braithwaite , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: National Indigenous Times , 30 April vol. 8 no. 176 2009; (p. 10)
Samson and Delilah is first and foremost a love story, but it is also an unflinching look at life in an Aboriginal community outside Alice Springs which is wracked by violence, substance abuse, poverty and boredom.
From All-Too-Real Daily Tragedies Comes Hope Emily Dunn , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 8 May 2009; (p. 12)
Ovation for Film That Crosses Language Barriers Stephanie Bunbury , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 18 May 2009; (p. 12)
Remote LoveStory Wins Hearts at Cannes Angus Hohenboken , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 May 2009; (p. 5)
Cannes Ovation for Aussie Film Stephanie Bunbury , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 18 May 2009; (p. 5)
Taking Their Time in the Sun Natasha Robinson , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Australian , 7 May 2009; (p. 11)
After Glory in Cannes, It's Back to Earth and a Long Trip Home Garry Maddox , Stephanie Bunbury , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 26 May 2009; (p. 10)
A Quiet Drink, then Feighted Filmmaker is Back to Work Garry Maddox , Stephanie Bunbury , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 26 May 2009; (p. 3)
From Cannes to Camp Life, with Love Paul Toohey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 27 May 2009; (p. 1-2)
Five-Star Notion Picture James Jeffrey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 26 May 2009; (p. 9)
Samson Director Walks Away a Winner at Cannes Michael Bodey , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 26 May 2009; (p. 3)
Last amended 20 Jun 2016 12:35:14
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