In 1977, a 27-year-old woman decided to trek 2,000 miles across the sprawling Australian desert on a journey of self-discovery. She had just four camels and a pet dog.
Robyn Davidson had no desire to be famous. She simply wanted the opportunity to find herself.
Yet the autobiographical account of her extraordinary journey turned her life story into a modern Australian legend.
A generation later, Robyn’s journey has been brought to life in 'Tracks', a film that delves deep into the tale of a woman who choose to walk across one of the most desolate and harshest climates on earth in order to find inner peace.
"The two important things I did learn were that you are as powerful and strong as you allow yourself to be, and that the most difficult part of any endeavour is taking the first step, making the first decision." - Robyn Davison
The film explores how the young woman learned to train wild camels and survive in the desert, before heading off into the wilderness for nine months.
The story also focuses on the complicated relationship between soul-searching Robyn (played by Mia Wasikowska) and self-serving, charismatic photographer Rick Smolan (Adam Driver), who urges her to allow him to document her trip in return for financial support.
Reluctantly, she agrees. But his intrusion into her emotional and spiritual life grows increasingly problematic.
However, as her fame grows, it is only Rick who can help the young woman understand what she has achieved.
"Robyn wanted to be alone, to work out who she was outside of the chatter of her friends. And sometimes to do that you have to put all the distractions aside." - Producer, Emile Sherman
Since her original journey, writer, essayist and script consultant Robyn admits she has been flooded with offers from film producers looking to tell her extraordinary story.
However she held back for more than 30 years (after appearing on the cover of the March 1978 edition of National Geographic) waiting for the right creative team.
"I was such a purist I just didn’t want Hollywood to have it," she says. "I thought no, this should be an Australian film. It should have its own values that are close to what the journey itself meant, and what the book meant."
And in a beautiful twist of fate, the one actress she hoped would play the role of Robyn, felt similarly connected to her story.
"I can't really explain why, but I felt like I really understood her at that particular time of her life," explains Mia Wasikowska. "I was really fascinated by her. When I read the script I immediately felt a strange connection to her character."
Robyn was consulted on the film from the early stages, but reveals that she was relaxed about others telling her story in their own way.
"Obviously I don't think it's going to be a direct rendition of my book, and I think any writer who thinks the film is going to be totally faithful to the book is naive. It's their vision and I'm happy with that."
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