In 1984, just as the PC movement is getting ready to really blow up and make every tale of indigenous peoples into a hardcore guilt-fest, Herzog does the unthinkable and tells his story with (for the most part) no agenda.
The lead character does rebuke his whiteness and decide to groove on the vibes of the earth with the Aborigines, but he is also presented as a rudderless dude that’s quite a bit spaced out to begin with.
The mining company that finds itself inadvertently drilling on holy soil is presented in a surprisingly human light – much more so that reality, I’m sure. I think they truly wish there weren’t uranium under the dirt there.
The verite scenes of Aboriginal culture are not made majestic. They are simply there – in the hot sun – with a didgeridoo.
This is a curious (and a little slow) movie that goes out of its way not to make a point – which, in the world of “ethnographic filmmaking” really is quite a big point!