‘High Ground’ Evaluate: Two Worlds Collide in the Outback

green and white leafed plantsThis outback western, set in Australia’s Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, commences in 1919, depicting a brutal massacre of a team of Indigenous folks identified as Yolngu. Above the killing fray is a rifleman named Travis (Simon Baker), a member of the party of white people encroaching on the land. The group down below has gone against the mission — Travis was supposed to be the only member of the celebration approved to shoot — so he descends from his defensive place and attempts to preserve the Yolngu. One particular surviving Indigenous witness is a youthful boy named Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul).

Directed by Stephen Johnson from a script by Chris Anastassiades, “High Ground” is not the narrative of Black struggling and a white savior that its opening may recommend. Instead, it is a story of two characters from distinctive worlds coming to conditions with their instances.

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