The Plains of Heaven

Australia, 1982

Image via TMDb

In this inversion of the buddy-film two technicians manning a tracking station on the High Plains pursue diametrically opposed ways of coping with the isolation. The ageing Cunningham seems to be rejuvenated by and obsessed with the landscape while the younger Barker withdraws into the station and its attendant technology. Return to Barker’s Melbourne becomes a descent into a fragmented, nightmare cityscape. The denial of cause and effect explanations for behaviour invites a metaphysical interpretation of this ambiguously down-side existential drama of disorientation and alienation not dissimilar to Werner Herzog’s visionary dramas although without the German director’s quirky black humour. Cast: Richard Moir, Reg Evans, Gerard Kennedy.

How to watch

Access to this work is restricted for legal or cultural reasons.

Learn more about accessing our collection


In ACMI's collection



John Cruthers


Ian Pringle



Production places
Production dates

Please note: this archive is an ongoing body of work. Sometimes the credit information (director, year etc) isn’t available so these fields may be left blank; we are progressively filling these in with further research.

Cite this work on Wikipedia

If you would like to cite this item, please use the following template: {{cite web |url= |title=The Plains of Heaven |author=Australian Centre for the Moving Image |access-date=3 December 2022 |publisher=Australian Centre for the Moving Image}}