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Word Count: 567
Richard Chamberlain is David Burton a tax lawyer living in Sydney Australia who is drawn into a murder trial defending five Aboriginal men accused of murdering a fellow native in Peter Weirs apocalyptic 1977 thriller The Last Wave Taking up where Picnic at Hanging Rock left off the film goes deeper into exploring the unknown and in the process shows the gulf between two cultures who live side by side but lack understanding of each others culture and traditions Weir shows how white society considers the native beliefs to be primitive superstitions and believes that since they are living in the cities and have been domesticated their tribal laws and culture no longer apply From the start Burton is drawn deeper and deeper into a strange web of visions and symbols where the line between real time and dream time evaporates Water plays an important symbolic role in the film from the opening sequence in which a sudden thunder and hailstorm interrupts a peaceful school recess to Burtons discovery that his bathtub is overflowing and water is pouring down his steps As violent and unusual weather continue with episodes of black rain and mud falling from the sky the contrast between the facile scientific explanations of the phenomenon and the intuitive understanding of the natives is made clear Burton and his wife Annie Olivia Hamnet study books about the Aborigines and learn about the role of dreams in the tribal traditions When he invites one of his clients Chris Lee David Gulpilil to his home for dinner he is disturbed to find that he is the subject of an inquiry by Chris and his friend Charlie Nadjiwarra Amagula an enigmatic Aborigine sorcerer involved with the defendants As Burtons investigation continues his clients make his work difficult by refusing to disclose the true events surrounding the murder After Chris starts to appear in his dreams Burton is convinced that the Aborigine was killed in
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