“White people don’t understand that there are two laws and two different kinds of custom in Australia… White people have different laws from Aboriginal people.”
The Borroloola Aboriginal Community is made up of four language groups from the gulf region of the Northern Territory. The people live within a tribal structure and all decisions concerning this film were made within this structure.
The opening words of the film are spoken by Leo Finlay, a prominent member of the Borroloola community:
“I suppose you know these two, Alexander and Caroline. Last year was in Sydney and asked them to come down to make film in Borroloola for our own people. They’re here in Borroloola now and we’re glad that they came to make this film. They been apply to the government to get some money to make this film which was real good. So its our film and we’re going to make really good film out of it.”
This film is not a conventional documentary – it comes from a different perspective, from Aboriginal community commitment, and in doing so it also challenges notions of filmmaking practice, of history, of ethnography, of objectivity.
The Aboriginal people of Borroloola have a traumatic history of massacres, institutionalisation and dispossession of their lands. Reflection upon this history is increasingly part of the Borroloola people’s basis for action and the consolidation and definition of aims. The request for this film to be made is part of this process.
The film is divided into four parts but although this arrangement is roughly chronological the film isn’t a straight linear narrative and neither is it divided into four quite distinct parts. There are interconnections between the various parts and interconnections between the past and the present which is dealt with through investigation of history and the way history is constructed and also of story telling and the processes of story telling.
1.59GB | 1:02:22 | 624×464 | avi
Language:English, Borroloola Aboriginal languages
Subtitles:English (for non-English parts)