Samson and Delilah

Director’s Notes

Samson and Delilah - Short Stories About Love

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Warwick Thornton has shared some ideas from the director chair canvas by stating, “Everybody has a moment when they want to shine a light on an issue or a section of society that doesn’t really have a voice, I chose aboriginal tribes.”  In everybody’s journey through life there is the good fight.  SAMSON & DELILAH is my reason for being. It is my good fight.”

Storytelling has been part of Australian aboriginal history for thousands of years, from indigenous Australian art to aboriginal storytelling under the stars.  Stories would consist of indigenous tribes and the deserts in Australia. Currently the medium from which  aborigines facts are being shared is not through vocal stories but through aboriginal movies on the screen. The medium has changed but the reasons for telling our stories about Australian aborigine culture have not.

I believe that Samson and Delilah is a story about the definition of true love between Australian aboriginal people. You have to believe in your stories and trust that an audience will take the journey with you and your characters. 

The audience’s journey through the darkness of Samson and Delilah makes the light brighter at the end. Samson and Delilah’s unconventional love is that light that displays the signs of true love. Samson and Delilah’s challenges and struggles are inspired by what I see every day as I journey through my own life here in the Central Australian desserts. It is a real depiction of Australian indigenous people.

On Love

SAMSON & DELILAH is the definition of true love, but perhaps not in the traditional sense. Samson and Delilah is a story that deals with life on a remote part of Australia where Australian aboriginal tribes reside. Samson and Delilah displays Australian aboriginal culture and the ways in which one young couple manage to escape from their mundane existence in the Australian dessert. Samson and Delilah’s story gave the director definition of what love truly is.

The central theme that I wanted to explore in Samson and Delilah is the definition of true love, but not in the conventional sense, not a usual sort of love – a love that develops out of survival in the deserts of Australia. Necessary love between two native people of Australia.

It is a story about the many different ways in which the signs of true love grows. Samson, Delilah have a very unusual relationship and their love is strong but understated and it develops as their trust develops. But will it save them?

Samson and Delilah is a film aboriginal culture in Australia. These aboriginal people of Australia are classed not even as people – let alone people who are allowed to display signs of true love or have emotions. They’re not allowed to be human even though they are the native people of Australia. The aboriginal cultures of Australia are the untouchables.

I believe that the story of these two young aboriginal people in Australia, Samson and Delilah, is an important and unique story to tell – it is like one of those untold short stories about love. In the end, even though life is going to be hard within the deserts in Australia, I want the audience to feel like there are real possibilities of success for them. A new life. hope.

On Method

A sensitive film such as SAMSON & DELILAH could quite easily die in the madness of conventional filmmaking: the crews, the trucks, the process.

So we decided to take a different approach. One we know what works. A small crew, no trucks, just the bare minimums. A crew chosen for their hearts, not their Cvs.

The two characters, Samon – Deliliah, are played by first time, aboriginal actors Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara. Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara make up for their lack in actors training by having a life-long experiences in the aboriginal tribes of Australia. They knew the lives that Samson and Delilah lived and they were able to draw on that reality, while giving the audience information about Australia. As a result Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara are probably one of the most famous aboriginals in Australia.

The camera and design reinforce this reality: hand held, raw, real. No grips, no gaffers, no cranes, no tracks, not too many lights. I shot the film myself to have nothing between me and the actors, except the beautiful 35mm panavision camera.


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