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Publisher's Summary

It's been almost 50 years since a teenage David Gulpilil illuminated screens worldwide with his breakout role in Walkabout. It was one of the first times we'd seen an Aboriginal person cast in a significant role and only four years after Holt's referendum to alter the constitution and give Indigenous people citizenship and, subsequently, the right to vote.

Gulpilil quickly became the face of the Indigenous world to white Australian audiences. Charisma. Good looks. A competent, strong, mysterious man starring in films ranging from Crocodile Dundee to Rabbit-Proof Fence.

But what has marked Gulpilil, despite his fame and popularity, is the feeling that he's been forever stuck between two worlds: a Yolngu man, a hunter, a tracker, who grew up in the bush in Arnhem Land outside any white influence; and a movie star flitting from movie sets to festivals.

Able to exist in both worlds, but never truly home.

From the author of the best-selling Wednesdays with Bob, Derek Rielly builds a narrative around his attempt to encapsulate the most beguiling and unconventional of Australian entertainers, observing Gulpilil's own attempt to find a place in the world. With interviews from notable icons and friends - such as Jack Thompson, Paul Hogan, Phillip Noyce, Craig Ruddy, George Gittoes, Gary Sweet and Damon Gameau - this book unriddles a famous enigma at last.  

©2019 Derek Rielly (P)2019 Pan Macmillan AU

Critic Reviews

"David is a gateway to a history that we've so far denied and not embraced. In this country, he's more important than Ned Kelly...He has an extraordinary presence, what ever that word means. It's very real. Some people have it and some people don't. And David has it - he knows how to feed the camera." (Jack Thompson) 

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Essential Reading

Mixing entertaining stories with a heartbreaking narrative this first hand account details encounters with the larger than life David Gulpili and the many people who have loved him, worked with him and been enthralled by him. Through individual focus this book offers a reflection on a much larger picture, one that allows the reader to understand the causes and symptoms of Australia's current social disharmony and the challenges faced by living in two distinctly different worlds.

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Must listen

A stunning account of a true Australian icon who has lived more lives than ordinarily humanly possible. An important Aboriginal voice and man.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.