Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Gulpilil: One Red Blood (2002)

play May contain names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
Email a link to this page
To:
CC:
Subject:
Body:
clip 'My father's country' education content clip 1, 2

Original classification rating: PG. This clip chosen to be PG

Clip description

Footage of David, Robyn – David’s traditional law wife – and their children in Ramingining. Sweeping aerial views of the ever-widening river that David needs to cross to reach David’s father’s country. Archival footage of Aboriginal people in a mission with David’s voice-over narrating about the first time he saw a white person.

Teacher’s notes

provided by The Le@rning FederationEducation Services Australia

This clip shows Indigenous actor David Gulpilil with his family at Ramingining in north-eastern Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. Gulpilil describes his father’s country, growing up in the bush, his first encounter with white people, being educated at the Maningrida mission school, and the effect that contact with non-Indigenous people has had on the Indigenous community in this area. The clip includes sweeping aerial shots of north-eastern Arnhem Land, archival footage of the mission, Gulpilil’s narration and evocative music featuring Indigenous chants.

Educational value points

  • David Gulpilil’s Yolngu identity and his sense of belonging in his own country are emphasised in the clip, and he is shown against a background of the river and the place where he was born. He explains the origins of his name by referring to the river, the waterfall and his father’s country. He says that every time he looks at the river he is reminded of who he is. Traditional music and singing enhance the sense of Yolngu culture and identity.
  • Gulpilil is shown with his extended family. He explains that he and his wife Robyn, seen here with some of their children, were promised to each other by tribal law. There are shots of people around a camp cooking and the sound of people talking in their traditional language in the background. Family continuity is stressed when Gulpilil talks of how he remembers travelling with his father and mother and family when he was young.
  • The clip conveys a strong sense of loss and alienation in Gulpilil’s life, especially after his parents died and he went to mission school. He recalls his childhood and the changes that occurred, saying ‘I was a lost child’. When he refers to the difficulty in crossing the river, he implies that he cannot return to the way things were when he was young.
  • The clip contrasts Gulpilil’s early life with the changed conditions brought by contact with non-Indigenous people. Over footage of the scenery, Gulpilil says, ‘this land was empty, you know. It was beautiful’. He refers to cigarettes, ganja (marijuana) and grog, suggesting that contact with non-Indigenous people resulted in these drugs causing problems that had not existed when ‘it was just the fresh water and that’s it’, and he and his people ‘could walk and live in this land’.
  • David Gulpilil is an award-winning Australian actor and an Elder of the Yolngu people, whose homelands are in north-eastern Arnhem Land. He grew up in the bush and his skills as an accomplished hunter, tracker and ceremonial dancer have featured in his films. His invitation to filmmaker Rolf de Heer to visit Ramingining and spend time exploring his traditional lands resulted in the two collaborating on Ten Canoes (2006), a film featuring Yolngu culture, traditions, country, language and performers.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer 'My father's country' from the documentary Gulpilil: One Red Blood as a high quality video download.

To play the downloadable video, you need QuickTime 7.0, VLC, or similar.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before downloading the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

This clip is available in the following configurations:

File nameSizeQualitySuitability
gulpilil1_pr.mp4 Large: 19.3MB High Optimised for full-screen display on a fast computer.
gulpilil1_bb.mp4 Medium: 9.1MB Medium Can be displayed full screen. Also suitable for video iPods.

Right-click on the links above to download video files to your computer.

Thanks to the generosity of the rights holders, we are able to offer this clip in an embeddable format for personal or non-commercial educational use in full form on your own website or your own blog.

You must read and agree to the following terms and conditions before embedding the clip:

australianscreen is produced by the National Film and Sound Archive. By using the website you agree to comply with the terms and conditions described elsewhere on this site. The NFSA may amend the 'Conditions of Use’ from time to time without notice.

All materials on the site, including but not limited to text, video clips, audio clips, designs, logos, illustrations and still images, are protected by the Copyright Laws of Australia and international conventions.

When you access australianscreen you agree that:

  • You may retrieve materials for information only.
  • You may download materials for your personal use or for non-commercial educational purposes, but you must not publish them elsewhere or redistribute clips in any way.
  • You may embed the clip for non-commercial educational purposes including for use on a school intranet site or a school resource catalogue.
  • The National Film and Sound Archive’s permission must be sought to amend any information in the materials, unless otherwise stated in notices throughout the Site.

All other rights reserved.

ANY UNAUTHORISED USE OF MATERIAL ON THIS SITE MAY RESULT IN CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LIABILITY.

Copy and paste the following code into your own web page to embed this clip: