VTER2016 CDU Casuarina Campus – Mal Nairn Theatre
Saturday 10 September
11:10am – 12:30am VTER Film Session 1: Another Country (2015, 75 min)
1:10pm – 3:10pm VTER Film Session 2: The Karrabing Collective
VTER Film Session 1: Another Country (2015, 75 min)
“No one from any government has ever known our language. … How can they know us?”
– David Gulpilil
Another Country is a documentary which considers, from the inside, the ramifications of one culture being dominated by another.
At the beginning of last century the Australian Government, along with entrepreneurs, opportunists and do-gooders, made a concerted effort to gain control of the lands of the Yolngu people across northern Arnhem Land, along the central part of northern Australia. The long succession of would-be cattle barons, missionaries and government agents failed to dispossess the Yolngu of their lands, but the introduction of their new ways and different laws succeeded in eroding the heart of a complex culture that was once strong, defiant and self-sufficient.
Legendary Australian actor, David Gulpilil, has spent his adult life trying to navigate his way through two very different, opposing cultures: that of his Yolngu people and that of the prevailing Australian culture. He personally narrates Another Country, and gives us first-hand insight into the confusions and chaos that occur in the clash between these cultures.
Molly Reynolds’ film is one of an on-going series that Rolf de Heer and colleagues have made with the Yolngu people of Ramingining, beginning with the celebrated Ten Canoes in 2006. Reynolds collaborated with de Heer on the hugely successful Twelve Canoes website and film, and, after Charlie’s Country, they have continued to work together on Another Country and also, Still Our Country.
Each of the Ramingining films stands alone, but all run parallel and enlighten the others. The projects have separate emphases, individual areas of concern, distinctly different styles and their own emotional tone. Together, they paint a highly detailed and revealing portrait of a culture and a people.
VTER Film Session 2: The Karrabing Collective
About group: The Karrabing Film Collective is a grassroots Indigenous based media group, who use filmmaking as a means of self-organisation and social analysis. Most Karrabing live on a rural Indigenous community in the Northern Territory with low or no income. Through screenings and publications, they develop local artistic languages and forms, while allowing audiences to understand new forms of collective Indigenous agency. Their medium is a form of survivance – a refusal to relinquish their country and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality. The films represent their lives, create bonds with their land, and intervene in global images of Indigeneity. However, their artistic practice necessitates non-governmental support as successive Australian governments have withdrawn assistance from Indigenous worlds – and increasingly disparaged Indigenous forms of knowledge. Their films have shown internationally; and, among other honors, they received the 2015 Cinema Nova Award Best Short Fiction Film, Director, Melbourne International Film Festival and the 2015 European Visible Award.
Behind the Scenes: Karrabing (Low Tide Turning) (2013, 7 min)
Director: Aimee Mullins
“When the Dogs Talked” (2014, 33:56)
As a group of Indigenous adults argue about whether to save their government housing or their sacred landscape, their children struggle to decide how the ancestral Dreaming makes sense in their contemporary lives. Listening to music on their ipods, walking though bush lands, and boating across seas, they follow their parents on a journey to reenact the travel of the Dog Dreaming. Along the way individuals run out of stamina and boats out of gas, and the children press their parents and each other about why these stories matter and how they make sense in the context of Western understandings of evolution, the soundscapes of hip hop, and the technologies of land development.
“Windjarrameru, The Stealing C*nt$” (2015, 36:33)
Four Indigenous young men find themselves in a standoff with the police in a contaminated swamp after being accused of stealing two cartons of beer. Meanwhile all around them minings are stealing and polluting their country.
“Wutharr, Satwater Dreams” (2016, 28:53)
Across a series of flashbacks, an extended indigenous family argues about what caused their boat’s motor to break down and leave them stranded out bush. As they consider the roles played in the incident by the ancestral present, the regulatory state and the Christian faith, Wutharr: Saltwater Dreams explores the multiple demands and inescapable vortexes of contemporary indigenous life.