higher ground

“When you’ve got the high ground you control everything,” Travis (Simon Baker) tells Gutjuk (Jacob Junior Nayinggul) during a pivotal moment in the movie “Higher Ground”. 

Higher Ground is not just meant literally, taking higher ground is also very symbolic in this movie.

Travis is a sniper for the police force in outback Australia, however, when all hell breaks loose when on-the-run bandits and police crash headlong into the lives of a group of innocent Aboriginals wholesale murder ensues. The audience realises that this, for the white police force, was not just about finding and apprehending the criminals but about wiping out a race, a way of life that they despised.

Gutjuk is one of the survivors of the massacre, rescued by Travis and taken to be raised with the missionaries. Reunited with Travis some twelve years after the shootings, he is recruited as a tracker after police chief (Jack Thompson) asks him to help hunt down another survivor of the massacre, Gutjuk’s uncle Baywara (Sean Mununggurr) who has been terrorising settlers in the area in an act of revenge for the killing of his family.

He agrees to track his uncle for Travis, intending to draw him into a trap set by Baywara, but Gutjuk becomes torn between his family and his growing respect for Travis.

A sometimes confronting movie, bringing the often untold story to light of the harsh treatment of indigenous Australians.

A must see 5/5