Charlie’s Country


Written by Rolf de Heer and David Gulpilil as a collaborative project, Charlie’s Country stars Gulpilil as blackfella Charlie, who is getting older, and is out of sorts.

Gulpilil appears in every scene in a film that starts on a light note when Charlie helps police capture two drug dealers.

But the government’s Northern Territory intervention is making life more difficult on his remote community, what with the proper policing of whitefella laws that don’t generally make much sense, and Charlie’s kin seeming more interested in going along with things than doing anything about it.

So Charlie takes off, to live the old way, but in doing so sets off a chain of events in his life that has him return to his community chastened, and somewhat the wiser.

Trailer: Charlie’s Country

Director Rolf de Heer explains how Charlie’s Country was conceived: “The film came about because David Gulpilil is somebody I’ve worked with a number of times and a friend, and he began to get himself into deeper and deeper strife with alcohol and he ended up in jail, and I thought I better go and visit him and find out what could be done if anything, and the one thing that David really wanted to do was make another film together.”

“He was very proud of The Tracker that we did together and so we began to talk about Charlie’s Country when he was still in jail and then when he went into rehab and we devised the project and created the script.”

Many see Charlie’s Country as the third part of Rolf de Heer’s triology: The Tracker was history, Ten Canoes was pre-history and Charlie’s Country is about the present.


David Gulpilil - Charlie
Peter Djigirr - Black Pete
Luke Ford - Luke (local cop)
Bobby Bunungurr - Bobby
Frances Djulibing
Jennifer Budukpuduk Gaykamangu - Faith
Peter Minygululu - Old Lulu
Ritchie Singer - Darwin Doctor
Gary Waddell
Release dates
12 October 2013 - Australian premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival
May 2014 - World premiere in Un Certain Regard in Cannes
17 July 2014 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
8 December 2014
Best Film - 2015 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, Sydney
Best Director - 2015 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, Sydney
R18+ - Restricted
Visit Films
Graham Tardif

Language in English and Yolngu (subtitled).

Shot on location in Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.

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An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Charlie’s Country, retrieved 14 December 2018