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I recently watched Walkabout and while I really liked the movie, its beginning left me quite confused. Why does the father lose his mind and attempt to kill his kids and finally kill himself?

The whole movie is about a walkabout. But not the walkabout of the Aborigine; the walkabout of the lost girl and her brother. Their whole adventure is used as a way to criticise our society but what does the father's breakdown mean? Is it just a way of showing how our society can drive us crazy? Is there something else to say about it?

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I believe the father intended to do that from the beginning of the trip - that's why he took them out for the picnic in the desert, and started shooting at them from so far away.

It was kind of out of the blue and came across as more Something To Get The Plot Going than a real inciting incident.

I thought at one point I had read this was based on a real-life incident, but can't find any internet precedent.

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