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NYIRR-MARIE [from the CAAMA Collection]

Year: 2010

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 24 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Mitch Torres

Produced By: Eileen Torres

Language: Warlpiri language [English subtitles]

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A strong Miriwoong woman, Evelyn Hall (Nyirr-Marie), who died in late 2009, was a senior elder in women’s law in the Miriwoong region and a staunch advocate for Indigenous land rights for her community.

It was Evelyn’s strong desire for her story to be told and gave special clearance for this documentary to be shown three months after her remains were returned to Country.

The film documents Evelyn’s final return to her Country – by helicopter and by four-wheel drive. She knew that she was not well enough to make the trip again, to walk and live on her Country. As part of her journey, and the record she wanted to leave for her family and future generations, she recounts two Dreaming stories – the Barramundi story and the Two Pigeons story – and visits a site of ancient rock paintings. In her family cave, where her ancestors are buried, she leaves her own hand-print alongside those of younger members of her family and the image of her Snake Dreaming.

“When you are given access to a person’s life, such as Evelyn and her family gave to us as a film crew, you feel very privileged, and something magic happens: you are given a place to follow a story from a very different point of view. … Evelyn never wavered from the fact that it was important to document her connection to her land … making sure she was telling her story to her children and grandchildren to archive it for the future as she knew her time on earth would be short.” – Mitch Torres, director.
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Evelyn Hall (Nyirr-Marie)

A strong Miriwoong woman, Evelyn Hall (Nyirr-Marie), who died in late 2009, was a senior elder in women’s law in the Miriwoong region and a staunch advocate for Indigenous land rights for her community.

When her children were young, Evelyn decided to pursue an education so that she could begin to understand the white man’s world. Eventually Evelyn and her brother, J. Toby (deceased) went back to their Country, Mandangala (Glen Hill station) to look after the country and their stories. They signed agreements with CRA, and the Argyle Diamond Mine went into operation. With the agreement in 1980, the Kimberley Land Council was able to secure the land in the Federal court, Evelyn joined forces with other senior Miriwoong women elders to secure land tenure, which they did by the mid-1980s. Evelyn was a Member of the Order of Australia.
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Director, writer - Mitch Torres
Producer - Eileen Torres
Production - Alison Torres
Photography & sound - Cornel Ozies & Clinton Ferstl
Editor - Cornel Ozies
Composer - Petris Torres
Series producer - Tanya Fraser
Executive producer - Ray Lillis

A CAAMA Production for Imparja TV, in the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series

Principal investor: Screen Australia
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Follow this link to view a trailer that includes this title and other CAAMA titles: www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnQTe35Fm6o

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