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Ronin Films

AIATSIS Collection

THREE HORSEMEN [from the AIATSIS Collection]

Year: 1982

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: G

Runtime: 51 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: David MacDougall, Judith MacDougall

Produced By: David MacDougall, Judith MacDougall

Language: Wik-Munkan language and English, with English subtitles

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THREE HORSEMEN is one of several films that the MacDougalls made in and around Aurukun in the far north of Queensland. It is a deeply moving portrait of three generations of Aboriginal stockmen at Ti-Tree station, 80km south of Aurukun, a former cattle out-station of Aurukun Mission and now a settlement for people who regard Ti-Tree as their home.

Bob Massey Pootchemunka, about 75 years old, has lived and worked all his life on cattle stations. He has a strong vision of Ti-Tree becoming a sustainable cattle station and feels a strong responsibility to teach "the proper way" to run the place, whether it be looking after leather-gear, mending fences or clearing scrub.

Eric Pootchemunka, aged 46, is Bob's nephew. He shares Bob's vision and works hard to teach younger people to be good horsemen and to develop a sense of Ti-Tree as their own place.

Ian Pootchemunka, aged 13, is Eric's son. He keenly feels a responsibility to learn as much as he can, as fast as he can, and is aware that he embodies the hopes that Bob and Eric have for Ti-Tree's future.

"The Aurukun films are related to the complex process of the Aboriginal community there struggling to maintain and transmit its autonomy, culture and land. ... (THREE HORSEMEN) is a deeply metaphoric study of the precarious hopes and fragile demographic basis of transmitting Aboriginal cultural continuity." (Fred R. Myers in Cultural Anthropology, vol 3, no 2, May 1988, pp 206-212).

A film by David and Judith MacDougall
Photography by David MacDougall
Sound by Judith MacDougall
Camera Assistant Colin MacDougall
Narrator Ray Saunders
Production support Michele Day

An AIAS Film Unit production - 1982 | Wik-Munkan language and English, with English subtitles

Ronin Films wishes to advise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that this film may contain images and voices of deceased persons.

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