Journey out of Darkness


Journey out of Darkness is set in Central Australia in 1901. It tells the story of a young white policeman Peterson, who is sent to arrest an Aboriginal man of the Arunta nation responsible for a ritual killing.

On the return journey, the policeman's Aboriginal tracker dies because a bone had been pointed at him, an ancient curse used by the Aboriginal people. The tracker's death leaves Peterson to cross the desert alone with his prisoner.

Their roles are soon reversed and through the experience Peterson gains a new understanding of Aboriginal people and their knowledge.

Despite the liberal message of the plot, Journey out of Darkness was curiously archaic in its casting of a white actor, Ed Devereaux, in a principal Aboriginal role using blackface and Sri Lankan-born singer Kamahl played the role of the Aboriginal killer.

For this reason, the film was unpopular at a time when consciousness of Aboriginal affairs was growing stronger in the Australian community.


Release dates
15 December 1967 (State Theatre of Sydney)
Bob Young

Journey out of Darkness was filmed around Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia.

Kamahl who plays the Aboriginal captive was born of Sri Lankan parents in Kuala Lumpur.

James Trainor - Journey out of Darkness

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Journey out of Darkness, <>, retrieved 18 October 2019

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