Thursday, 4 February 2016

Tracks (5 Stars)

I've said repeatedly that I want to be cautious with my ratings. Look at the monthly film magazine Empire, which also rates films from one to five stars. Unlike me, Empire rarely gives a film five stars. It's usually only one film a month, sometimes none at all. I keep telling myself that I should reserve five star ratings for truly exceptional films. Maybe there are too many films that I find truly exceptional. This is one of them. I gave it a four star rating when I saw it in the cinema in April 2014, but after watching it again on Blu-ray its brilliance overwhelmed me. If I define a five star film as a film that must be watched, "Tracks" deserves a five star rating. Everything is perfect about it. The imagery, the acting, the story, everything.

The film tells the story or Robyn Davidson, the first person to walk across Australia from the east to the west coast on foot. This is a 1700 mile trip on foot through the desert, which she accomplished in 195 days. She was accompanied by four camels, which carried her food and supplies, and her dog Diggity. When asked why she was attempting this walk, considered by most people to be suicide, she answered, "I'd like to think that an ordinary person is capable of anything". I personally would modify her statement, saying "I'd like to think that an ordinary woman is capable of anything". Robyn's walk across Australia took place in 1977, and since then her feat has never been repeated. No man has been able to follow in Robyn's footsteps. It's true that men are blessed with greater physical strength, but women have more endurance under extreme conditions like these.

Robyn met some people on the way, settlers in isolated outposts in the few habitable areas in central Australia. She accepted their food and hospitality, but never stayed more than a single night. Her walk was sponsored by National Geographic, so a photographer drove to meet her once every four weeks to take pictures and report her progress back to the magazine. He was also checking that she was still alive. For a few weeks she had to be accompanied across sacred land by a tribal elder, because women were forbidden to enter the area unless accompanied by a man. Typical! Every since time began men have been inventing religions that say women are inferior. Maybe some religions are worse than others, depending on how depraved their creators were, but they are all prejudiced against women in one way or another.

I have never been a believer in women's equality. The only way a woman can be equal to a man is by lowering herself to his level. For thousands of years men have feared the power of women and have done whatever they can to suppress them, by giving them less education and less opportunity to earn money. So-called women's liberation is only 100 years old and aims to win an equal standing for women in society. Even this goal has only partially been achieved. Women are setting their sights too low. Instead of shouting "Votes for women" the battle cry should have been "No votes for men". Only a global gynarchy can abolish all political and religious injustice and create peace on Earth.

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