This compelling Australian film written and directed by Nick Parsons is set in Wala Wala, a small outpost in the barren red desert in the central heart of the country. The white community consists of Ray Lorkin (Bryan Brown), the police chief; Charlie (John Jarratt), an anthropologist; Sarah (Anne Tenney), a doctor; and Les (Lewis Fitz-Gerald), a schoolteacher with a bored wife, Kate (Angie Milliken), and two children.

Poppy (Gnarnayarrahe Waitaire) is the elder of the aboriginal community. When his son hangs himself while in prison, Poppy demands the imposition of tribal justice. It's clear he is also campaigning to get rid of Lorkin. His cause is helped when Ray (Aaron Pedersen), an aboriginal bootlegger, violates sacred tribal grounds while making love to Kate. Ray is later found dead of a heart attack. Lorkin suspects murder. David (Ernie Dingo), an aboriginal who is also a Christian minister, is caught in the middle between his people and the growing resentment of the white community.

Dead Heart is a gripping portrait of the clash between cultures and the underlying distrust that is at the heart of all racism.