“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.
English and Yolngu language.
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