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aka - Alien Visitor
Australia 1995/7
Directed by
Rolf De Heer
88 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
2 stars


It is difficult to make a satisfying film when one has a lesson to preach and de Heer does not succeed with Epsilon. Despite being visually and aurally beguiling it lumbers under the weight of a leaden script which the two actors, Ulli Birvé and Syd Brisbane, are not strong enough to carry off.

Showing the beginnings of the style that de Heer would use much more successfully in The Tracker, 2002, which was like this filmed in the Flinders Ranges, the story tells of a good-natured city boy (Brisbane) out camping and his adventures with a good-looking extra-terrestrial (Birvé). The film looks marvellous with motion control and time lapse footage provided by an Adelaide firm, Digital Arts Film and Television and an effective score by Graham Tardif but as much as de Heer’s message is commendable he relies largely on verbal exposition and quite hackneyed narrative ideas rather than finding a comparably felicitous cinematic equivalent for it. The result is heavy-going to say the least.

Originally made in 1995, after initial screenings in Cannes in 1995, a prologue was added and the film recut, shortened by 10 minutes and a new ending added. The film still failed to find an audience.                   

DVD Extras: Both the never-before released original and re-cut versions are on the disc (I would recommended starting with the re-cut version).. Available as part of a 6 disc Rolf De Heer Collection from Umbrella Entertainment that also includes The Quiet Room, Tail Of A Tiger, Bad Boy Bubby, Dingo, and Incident At Raven’s Gate. .

Available from: Umbrella Entertainment




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