The Queen of Camels… An Extraordinary Woman on an Extraordinary Journey. In the later sixties, Robyn Davidson began dreaming about travelling through West Australia's deserts on camels. Alone!
Today I would like to celebrate the incredible journey of a brave and independent Australian Woman, Robyn Davidson. Her great adventure was first published in a book called Tracks - and later made into a movie. Please join me as I review her inspiring journey.
One thing is to go out on such an adventure, but it was unheard of, as a women, and in Australia back then, to even think of such a thing. Women belonged in the kitchen, and the only dream she was allowed to have, was to bear children. But Robyn wants more from her life, so she decides to fulfill her dream and journeys to Alice Springs,a town that in those days, were one of the most rough places, filled with violence.
For two whole years, Robyn fights and works hard to learn all about camels. But it isn’t before she receives a sponsership from National Geographic, that she finally succeds.
In 1977, Robyn can finally leave Alice Springs to begin her incredible journey. Unfortunately, the movie only touches those two years of prepation briefly, which is a shame. We miss getting to know how tough Robyn really is, and just how much endurance she has. We also miss out on many good and interesting situations from her book, where I, as a reader, thinks ”Oh my, I would never be able to do that!”
In the book, when Robyn finally leaves for the desert, it is inspiring to feel how free a soul she is and how much strength it takes to refuse to let the Australian norms for women, hold her down. So the book is in so many ways, full of her adventures spirit and her search for the authentic in life. The film has completly ignored all of this, and is very irloyal towards Robyn.
The film makes her look like a confused person who’s running from her mothers traumatic death, as a child. The film had made the entire drive behind this adventure, into a kind of catharsis where she learns to deal with her mothers death. But Robyn was already quite clear about this, when the book begins. There has also been added scenes that can make Robyn seem a little careless, which she wasn’t.
These kind of ’changes’ of the authentic story, has unfortunately made the movie much less powerful and exciting, and it has prevented Robyns character from unfolding. However, despite of this, I still think the movie is worth seeing.
The scenograpy is very beautiful and lived up to all of my expectations. However, I will say that the book is a must with or without the movie. Firstly because of the adventure itself, but also because I think that Robyn is a very interesting person who dares to feel life. And you don't get to meet that person in the movie.
Here is the trailer to The Queen of Camels. I love this cover with the carpet snake.
Book: ”Tracks” (1988)
Film: ”Tracks” (2013)
Author: Robyn Davidson (f.1950)
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