How do the elements of ‘belonging’ and ‘return’ operate in Samson and Delilah and Whale Rider?
Samson and Delilah and Whale Rider are two films which deal with the conflict that can occur between tradition and modernity at the hand of colonisation. In both of these films, within this conflict, the elements of belonging and return are dealt with. Samson, Delilah and Paikea all have a yearning to belong to their communities, families and culture, yet find themselves on the outer for various reasons. All three characters commence a journey of return to their respective traditions, which results in a sense a sense of belonging for them. Through violence, challenging and connecting with Indigenous tradition, use of dialogue and visual techniques, Samson and Delilah and Whale Rider demonstrates the importance of belonging and the role that return can have on that.
Samson and Delilah is a slow-paced, repetitive film which examines the realities of a Postcolonial word for Australian Indigenous communities through the eyes of Samson and Delilah. This film is essentially a journey of discovery for Samson and Delilah, who try to find a place where they both belong after being rejected by their respective families. This rejection and subsequent search to belong is highlighted by both violence and silence. Firstly, the acts of violence in this film are all catalysts for these two characters to move onto new phases of their lives. The violence inflicted upon them from their family members led them to escape to Alice Springs, the abduction of Delilah led to her dabbling in petrol sniffing as a way of escape, and finally the car accident which involved Delilah led her to returning to her land, and brought Samson out of his drug induced reality. The violence inflicted upon Samson and Delilah symbolises the fact that these two characters had not yet found a place in which they belonged. Secondly, the silence in this film is a most deafening feature. There is very little...
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