The Last Wave (1977)

“We’ve lost our dreams. Then they come back and we don’t know what they mean.” Mild-manner corporate tax lawyer “David Burton” (Richard Chamberlain) finds his world turned upside down after he takes on a case to defend five Aborigines accused of murder in Sydney, Australia, in this mystical, atmospheric film directed by Peter Weir (Picnic at Hanging Rock). In the process, Burton starts having a series of really strange prophetic dreams, while outside some freaky weather patterns are wreaking havoc throughout Australia. As his personal and professional life starts to unravel, Burton seeks out one of the accused Aborigines, “Chris Lee” (David Gulpilil) for answers. The film’s final scene is truly terrifying. The solid cast includes Nandjiwarra Amagula, Olivia Hamnett and Frederick Parslow. According to the tagline, “A dream that became a nightmare. His was a premonition of doom.” The film was released in the United States as Black Rain. Gulpilil made his film debut in Nicolas Roeg’s Walkabout (1971), also highly recommended.

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