Films about Indigenous Australia, and the issues of reconciliation faced by all Australians, are increasingly abundant. These are a few favourites that can ask for at your local library. www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/library
Australian Rules, Beneath Clouds, Black Chicks Talking, Black & White, One Night the Moon, Rabbit Proof Fence, Radiance, Storm Boy, The Tracker.
An Act of Justice: The Mabo Judgement & Native Title Act, ATSIC, Osiris, 1994.
Outlines the history and meaning of the High Court’s Mabo Judgement and the Federal Government’s Native Title Act of 1993.
Around the Kitchen Table, Marrickville, Women’s Reconciliation Network, 1998. A film by Sally Fitzpatrick, Lisa Jackson & Elaine Telford.
Explores the issues Australians face during this time of reconciliation between the original people of this land and those newly arrived. Insights from a number of significant female community members offer glimpses of how healing can begin to happen in this country.
Black Deaths in Custody, Sydney, ABC Four Corners Documentary, 1987.
Documentary depicting abuses of basic human rights in both police custody and the prison system of Australia.
Bringing Them Home: National Inquiry Into the Separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children From Their Families, Sydney, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1997.
Provides personal accounts of the anguish and pain experienced by Aboriginal children, now adults, who were taken from their families at an early age.
Cop It Sweet, Sydney, ABC Documentaries, 1991. A film by Jenny Brockie.
In 1991 an ABC film crew spent six weeks following the police in Redfern, a predominantly working class area with a large Aboriginal and migrant population. The film reveals police attitudes and how they deal with a range of offences.
Couldn’t Be Fairer, Canberra , O’Rourke and Associates Filmmakers Pty Ltd., c1984.
A devastating account of the Aboriginal land rights battle in Queensland , revealing white Australians at their most beer-sodden and hypocritical. Shows how Indigenous civilisation has been destroyed in less than 150 years, leaving Aboriginal people marginalised in their own country.
Lousy Little Sixpence, Canberra, Ronin Films, 1983. A film by Alec Morgan and Gerry Bostock.
Documents the lives of Aboriginal people in New South Wales during the years 1900-1946.
Mabo: Life of an Island Man, Lindfield, Film Australia, 1997.
Relates the life of Eddie Koiki Mabo and his struggles to get recognition of his rights to his traditional land on Murray Island in the Torres Strait.
My Survival as an Aboriginal, Sydney, Australian Film Commission, 1979. A film by Essie Coffey.
Essie Coffey, black activist, musician, and resident of Brewarrina – also known as ‘ Dodge City ‘ – in northeast NSW, demonstrates the conflicts and tensions of living as an Aboriginal person under white domination. Shows how she is passing on knowledge of traditional bush ways to a generation of young Aboriginal children who have only ever known white domination.
Robin Campbell – Old Fella Now: Memories of a Muruwarri, Brewarrina, Goodgabah Productions, 1978. A film by Alec Morgan and Martha Ansara.
Robin Campbell, an old man of the Muruwarri tribe of the far northwest of NSW, lives out his days on the fringe of a white town. Robin recalls, through re-enactments by his young relations, how he was taught as a child to hunt emus and make animal tracks, how some of the animals and birds came to be what they are today, and his life as a drover.
A Sea of Hands, Sydney , Australians for Native Title and Reconciliation, 2000.
The documentary was made of the 1998 tour through central, northern and western Australia of the Sea of Hands . Following the bus loads of ANTaR supporters who planted the hands in communities all across the country, the film documents their grassroots work in building good will and helping to educate people on issues of land rights and reconciliation.
Whiteys Like Us, Canberra, Ronin Films, 1999. A film by Rachel Landers and Tom Zubrycki.
Focussing on a reconciliation study circle formed on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, this award-winning film examines the impact on participants’ lives and the personal and group dynamics involved in embracing such contentious issues. What goes on in a bland high school classroom at Manly Community College for two hours on Wednesday nights represents a fascinating microcosm of how white Australians are dealing – or not dealing – with the reconciliation process and the country’s Indigenous past and present.
Wrong Side of the Road, Sydney, Australian Film Commission, 1981. A film by Ned Lander and Graeme Isaac.
Two black rock/reggae bands ‘No Fixed Address’ and ‘Us Mob’ are followed on the road over a two-day period. Racism, present in various forms, is given its most obvious expression through frequent police harassment.
Your Hand My Hand: Moving Beyond Words , Sydney , Dynan Production for Aboriginal and Islander Commission (National Council of Churches), 1998.
A positive resource inviting viewers who are connected to the issues of reconciliation and native title in Australia to act – to move beyond words. A brief history of black/white relations since European settlement in Australia provides the context for the understanding of these issues.