The Quarry is cinema from the outside, a dry allegory whose sparse mannerisms bounce between success and yawning stillness. The primary character is called the Man (John Lynch). He's a white guy on the run from the law in South Africa. Rather inexplicably, the Man kills a lecherous priest and assumes his identity in a tiny town ravaged by the racist police chief (Jonny Phillips) who sleeps with a black woman (Sylvia Esau) and charges local blacks for the Man's murder.
With a scenario as charged as this one, The Quarry should boil and explode. At its best, there are moments of suspense held in slow scrutiny against the fraught landscape of South Africa. At its worst, the subject matter is shrugged off. To fully portray the powder keg intricacies of race, guilt, and shifting identities, one needs an igniting match.
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