This 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.
Several several years right after the massacre, Travis is enlisted by the military services to keep track of down an Indigenous warrior, Baywara, who’s arranging assaults versus whites at teach stations and other locales. As it occurs, the boy he rescued several years before is Baywara’s nephew. Originally named Gutjuk, he has been adopted by Christian missionaries and assigned a new identify. He’s performed fantastically by Nayinggul, whose delicate, warn and tensed-up overall performance is a significant explanation to give this film the reward of the doubt.
Travis enlists the teen as a tracker in his hunt, and guarantees he’ll do regardless of what he can to carry Baywara in alive. And he teaches Gutjuk to shoot, from the “high ground” of the film’s title.
Civilization, one particular of Travis’s military commanders tells him, is made up of “bad gentlemen accomplishing terrible issues, clearing the way for individuals who comply with.” Travis has his individual reckoning with individuals negative items. And his charge, Gutjuk, has his own reckoning with identification, discarding his Westernized name virtually as shortly as he starts riding with Travis. Although not as powerful as the 1978 Australian photograph “The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith,” this motion picture tends to make a stable scenario as both a statement and an action image.