Superior film which is based on a real-life incident. My husband and I kept catching the end of this film on cable, arrested by the spooky music and harsh photography, and were dying to see the entire movie since just seeing the end made no sense to us. When we finally did see the entire film, we both agreed it was one of the best that we'd ever seen and we've watched it many times since.
The film is set in Australia, which immediately takes it out of our American context and into an unknown place. A plane is found, still highly radioactive, buried in the desert; no one knows why but it's been there for over 30 years. There's a skeleton inside, also unknown. There is a human rights trial that runs through the entire film, which attempts to place the blame for nuclear testing within the Aboriginal lands on the Australian government, who are denying it. There are also a lot of Australian agents trying to find something that the hero's father hid long ago just before he "drowned"; something that would clearly show that the Australian government knew and in fact approved of the testing.
Colin Friels is marvelous as the protagonist/hero; he is acted upon, but he is ultimately aware of this and begins to turn the tables. Donald Pleasance is wonderful as a handicapped war veteran who Colin goes to for help in his quest to find out what happened to his father. Donald lives in a kind of geodesic dome structure in the middle of the Australian desert, which he's decorated inside and out with his own apocalyptic paintings.
Due to Donald's hints, Colin finally realizes who is behind his father's murder and he sets out across the vast Australian desert to an Aboriginal holy place. What he finds there is both an ending, as well as a possible beginning to another part of the story.
It is not, however, the end or solution to this ingenious movie, and I would not reveal that for the world. It's too good to spoil here. You must rent, buy or borrow this film and watch it yourself to see exactly how the movie ends, and you won't be disappointed. It is an incredible masterpiece, and I recommend it to everyone.
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