Koori History Website

What the critics said about Backroads

Backroads was too realistic a portrait of Australian race relations for the 1978 local audiences and distributor's. The film was only ever screened once commercially in this country, at the Lonford Cinema in Melbourne. Some of the reviews below stem from that solitary Australian commercial season, the others reflect the film's overseas success.

Backroads was a great success at the 1978 Berlin film festival, where it attracted high praise from German directors Werner Herzog and Wim Wenders. As a result, the film was a big success at the Cannes film festival later that year, and consequently was invited to screen at the British Film Instute in London. Backroads ultimately screened for six months at the Scala Cinema in London,first as a double with Stephen Wallace film, Love Letters from Teralba Road, and then as a support to the legendary Jimmy Cliff Reggae film, The Harder They Come.

The film has sinced been screened numerous times on Australian television as well as twenty other countries.

Read what the critics said about Backroads:-

  • 1977 review by Paddy McGuinness, current editor of Quadrant.
  • Paul Heinrichs review in the Melbourne Age1978.
  • Tom Milne review for the London Sunday Observer.
  • Rod McShane of London Time Out magazine.
  • Cannes Film Festival edition of Screen International.
  • London Morning Star newspaper review.
  • Derek Malcolm of the Guardian raves about Backroads
  • Review by Coleman in New Statesman
  • From the London Evening News
  • The Melbourne Sun
  • The Melbourne Herald - 1977
  • See also:-

  • Read Stephen Muecke's Essay on Backroads
  • Fate and the Family Sedan by Meaghan Morris
  • Rabbit Proof Fence and Backroads
  • Nell Scholfield Review of Backroads DVD - Adelaide Sunday Mail - 2004

  • Ad from Time Out magazine during London season of Backroads.