Dead Heart


This gripping Australian drama contains similar themes as a western as it chronicles the unending struggle between Aboriginal people and ever-encroaching Europeans.

Set in the arid red-rock desert west of Alice Springs, a region called Dead Heart by the whites and hailed as a sacred place by the Aboriginal people, the story centres on the travails of Ray Lorkin the local lawman who sees that Australian laws are obeyed in the tiny village of Wala Wala where he is one of only seven whites.

The story itself unfolds via flashback as told by the Aboriginal village elder Poppy. The trouble begins in the town jail when an Aboriginal prisoner is discovered dead. More trouble brews when Aboriginal bootlegger Ray Tony takes the schoolteacher's bored wife Kay out to a particularly sacred area for an illicit tryst. Later, Kate finds Tony dead. Strangely, his body shows no signs of violence. Despite the lacking evidence, Lorkin suspects a murder and demands justice. His investigation leads him down a dangerous, winding path that culminates in a tense and surprising manner.


Bryan Brown
Ernie Dingo
Angie Milliken
Release dates
November 28th, 1997 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
varies in sources, between July 28th, 1998 and June 12th, 2001. DVD release dates March 13th, 2001 and April 7th, 2005
MA 15+ - Mature accompanied
Fox Lorber Home Video, Fox Lorber Associates
Stephen Rae

Based on the stage play by Nicholas Parsons.

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, Dead Heart, <>, retrieved 16 August 2020

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