Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ten Canoes and Aboriginal Film

Rolf De Heer (The Tracker, Bad Boy Bubby) and David Gulpilil (The Tracker, Storm Boy, Walkabout...more films than I have space for here) co-directed the first full-length feature film made in Australia entirely in an Aboriginal language – the Ganalbingu - and its cast are all people indigenous to the Arafura wetlands area, in particular Ramingining, in Arnhem Land. "Ten Canoes" won the special jury prize at Cannes this year.
The last few years have seen a blossoming of film concerning (although not necessarily made by) indigenous Australians with Rabbit Proof Fence, The Tracker, Serenades, Yolgnu Boy, One Night the Moon, Beneath Clouds, Black Chicks Talking, Fly Peewee Fly, Deadly Yarns, Confessions of a Headhunter, Australian Rules and many more. Some young Aboriginal film makers, who do not necessarily depict Aboriginal subjects include Tracey Moffatt, Rachel Perkins, Ivan Sen and Catriona McKenzie.
The success of Ten Canoes and other films being made depicting Aboriginal history, culture and society is a good way for stories to be exchanged and understanding encouraged. Here is an interview with Rolf De Heer, Richard Birrinbirrin and Frances Djulbing.

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