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Last Wave, The

Peter Weir / AU, 1977 / 106 min.

Foam is currently showing a solo exhibition of the Belgian artist Geert Goiris, whose photographs – portraits, landscapes and architectural stills – evoke an oppressive, post-apocalyptic world. Together with the artist, EYE has selected a few post-apocalyptic film classics for screening. One such post-apocalyptic must-see film is Peter Weir’s The Last Wave.

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Two years after his stunning feature debut Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) – about the mysterious disappearance of several schoolchildren and their teacher near Ayers Rock – director Peter Weir again received fulsome praise for this tale of dreamtime, occult phenomena and the circumstances surrounding a baffling murder. In The Last Wave, lawyer David Burton (Richard Chamberlain) defends five aborigines suspected of having killed a fellow tribesman in an alley in Sidney. There is no clear and convincing evidence to convict the men, however.

As he investigates the case, Burton is confronted with inexplicable events: frogs overrunning his garden, hailstones the size of golf balls pelting down and water gushing through the car radio.

One of the aboriginal defendants visits him in his dreams; in the end Burton is unable to tell which reality he is dealing with: the real one, the dreamtime – or perhaps he is already beyond the end time? Burton finds himself in the grip of Hitchcockian suspense and turmoil. In the words of the ancient aborigine: “The dream is a shadow… of something real.”



Peter Weir

Production year




Original title

Last Wave, The


106 min.





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