So second round; first film.
Samson and Delilah is the story of two teenagers growing up in a dilapidated Aboriginal town on the outskirts of Alice Springs. Samson lives with his musician brother and abuses solvents, while Delilah looks after her Nana and helps her with the traditional paintings that are their livelihood.
To begin with the film follows their awkward yet somewhat endearing courtship, as Samson attempts to win Delilah over with all the grace and finesse of fourteen-year-old boys everywhere. They are both as stubborn and quietly determined in their courses of action, that they cause considerable amusement to Nana who clearly thinks that they will be a good match for each other. Almost as though knowing her granddaughter has found a suitable partner has given her a kind of peace, Nana promptly passes away. Which promptly throws both the protagonists lives into utter chaos.
While Delilah has hardly any dialogue and for much of the film seems a mostly passive character to whom things happen (mostly horrible things too, including assault, kidnapping and a car accident), the film is far more about her journey than it is about Samson’s. Samson spends the story trying and failing to prove that he can take care of her, can protect her. Delilah on the other hand takes a long and dark path to complete rock bottom, before coming to understand that she is the strong one and that she needn’t be a victim of her own circumstances. That he needs her to protect him from himself every bit as much as she needs someone to look after. There’s even a fairly symbolic moment with a wallaby for both of them that seems to demonstrate the way they swap roles towards the end.
Although the film never directly deals with the way the two worlds of Alice Spring do not overlap, in that none of the characters actually talk about it, it is nonetheless an aspect of the reality these characters inhabit that no one watching can avoid.
Despite the film having a, if not happy at least a hopeful, ending, it is not a sentimental or idealised view of life. Samson remains an addict and Delilah cannot escape the knowledge that love will not be enough to heal him. However, we get to see that she makes her choices with her eyes open, that this is the only way she can control her own destiny, that this might just work for them.