Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

Indigenous documentary

85 titles - sorted alphabetically or by year prev 1 2 next

Factual representation of Indigenous people and culture by Indigenous people.

A

Agnes Abbott: Hard Worker documentary – 2006

An Eastern Arrernte woman’s journey from mustering cattle to performing at the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

Alyawarre Country documentary – 2001

For decades there was awful conflict between pastoralists and Indigenous people; two elders share their perspective, in their language.

The Art of Healing documentary – 2005

Indigenous artists have given biblical texts a unique interpretation on the walls of a church near Alice Springs.

Art + Soul documentary – 2010

Senior art curator Hetti Perkins travels across Australia to meet leading Aboriginal artists and talk about their works within an Aboriginal cultural context.

Aunty Connie documentary – 2006

Narration by Deborah Mailman reading from Connie’s life story told in her book, When You Grow Up is skillfully blended with Connie speaking to camera.

B

Benny and the Dreamers documentary – 1992

Freddy West Tjakamarra, a member of the Pintubi people, thought that tinned food contained human flesh.

Beyond Sorry documentary – 2003

The filmmakers get to the heart of the consequence of child removal, yet tell a story that is painfully humane, and never compromising the humanity and beauty of its subjects.

Big Girls Don’t Cry documentary – 2002

This is about Indigenous women living with renal disease, and their strength pulls at the heart strings.

Black and Dusty documentary – 2005

This is a film for those addicted to speed and dust. Filmmaker Warwick Thornton is one of the Indigenous participants in the 2005 Finke Desert Race from Alice Springs.

Blood Brothers – Freedom Ride documentary – 1993

This documentary about Indigenous campaigner Charlie Perkins was made by his daughter Rachel, giving it extra intimacy.

Bungalung: A Dreaming of Cannibals documentary – 2007

A dramatised documentary about an ancient ghost story told by two Anmatjere elders to a group of children.

Bush Toys documentary – 2008

A group of boys from the Titjikala community maintain the desert tradition of making miniatures or ‘bush toys’ from materials found in the environment.

C

Cheeky Dog documentary – 2006

Dion is profoundly deaf and has muscular dystrophy but his love of dogs and his carer’s love have transformed him.

Cool Drink and Culture documentary – 2006

These three young women are passionate about passing on their knowledge of bush tucker to the Amunturrngu community’s children.

Crook Hat and Camphoo documentary – 2005

This is an episode of the important Nganampa Anwernekenhe TV series that aims to preserve indigenous language and culture.

D

Deadly Yarns 3 – Who Paintin’ Dis Wandjina? short film – 2007

When a Perth artist uses traditional iconography as graffiti, the traditional owners are not impressed.

Deadly Yarns – Don’t Say Sorry short film – 2004

In this short documentary Christine Jacobs describes how she overcame the pain of being a child of the stolen generations.

Deadly Yarns – Sugar Bag short film – 2004

A story of love and endurance about an Aboriginal child fathered by a white man and hunted down by police troopers.

Desert Tracks short film – 1997

Desert Tracks – a business established without government funding – is a community’s attempt to sustain itself culturally and an important initiative for self-determination.

Dog Dreaming documentary – 2001

Dog Dreaming is a documentary about the journey of two ancestral dogs that became a Dreaming story.

Dugong Dugong documentary – 1980

Depending on the individual viewer’s attitude, scenes of dugong hunting can be exhilarating or disturbing.

F

First Australians – Episode 1, They Have Come to Stay documentary – 2008

The opening episode of this landmark television series explores the first contact, meetings and relationships between the British and the first Australians.

First Australians – Episode 2, Her Will to Survive documentary – 2008

This episode covers the period from 1825–60 and European settlement in Tasmania, told through the stories of Truganini and George Augustus Robinson.

First Australians – Episode 3, Freedom For Our Lifetime documentary – 2008

Episode 3 focuses on the first Australians of Victoria and the lives of Simon Wonga and William Barack.

First Australians – Episode 4, No Other Law documentary – 2008

This episode examines the coming of the telegraph pole and white settlement to Central Australia.

First Australians – Episode 5, Unhealthy Government Experiment documentary – 2008

This episode explores the lives of Jandamarra, an Aboriginal stockman, and Gladys Gillian, an institutionalised half-caste.

First Australians – Episode 6, A Fair Deal for a Dark Race documentary – 2008

Episode 6 of First Australians explores Indigenous history from 1930–67, primarily in the south-eastern regions of Australia.

First Australians – Episode 7, We Are No Longer Shadows documentary – 2008

The final episode of First Australians covers the period 1967–93 and Eddie Mabo’s fight for land rights.

Footy The La Perouse Way documentary – 2006

Sydney’s La Perouse had an all-black football team in the 1930s but all nationalities were being welcomed by the 1950s.

The Foundation 1963–1977 documentary – 2002

Excluded from the census until 1967, Indigenous Australians formed The Foundation for Aboriginal Affairs in 1963, to agitate for political and social change.

G

Gulpilil: One Red Blood documentary – 2002

David Gulpilil continues to be a person – culturally and creatively – of incredible artistic significance to Indigenous peoples and Australian society alike.

I

Island Fettlers documentary – 2006

In the 1960s, Torres Strait Islander men moved to the Pilbara for work and stayed on. Island Fettlers starkly contrasts two cultures – visually, physically and aurally.

K

Karli Jalangu – Boomerang Today documentary – 2004

The making of the number seven boomerang is not a hurried process, but measured and multifaceted. Every step of the procedure has meaning.

L

Loved Up – Endangered documentary – 2005

While parts of Endangered have a light, Sex and the City feel to them, the undertones are serious and speak of cultural responsibility.

Loved Up – Lore of Love documentary – 2005

This film about people in love is a refreshing break from the usual heavy-handed anthropological treatment of Indigenous subjects.

Loved Up – Our Bush Wedding documentary – 2005

This documentary is about the wedding of artist Gordon Syron and photographer Elaine Pelot-Kitchener. Gordon went to jail for killing a man to protect his family’s country.

Loved Up – The Dream of Love documentary – 2005

Do blackfellas love the same way as everyone else?’ One of four films in this series which engages with themes of Indigenous love, family and identity.

Loved Up – Yellow Fella documentary – 2005

Tommy E Lewis, Indigenous star of the stage and screen, identifies as a 'yellow fella’ – both black and white.

M

Marn Grook documentary – 1996

'Marn Grook’ is the Indigenous name of a game very similar to AFL. This revealing documentary contends that AFL is in fact derived from Marn Grook.

Merrepen documentary – 2005

Women from the Nauiya community 'are painting our stories and making things’ to practise cultural knowledge and pass on and preserve traditions.

Message Stick – Arafura Pearl television program – 2003

This is a snapshot of the Mills family, a respected family in the Darwin area. Kathleen is an Indigenous Elder, mother of eight, musician and singer.

Message Stick – Babinda Boulders television program – 2005

The story of the Devils Pool, recounted by Yidinji elder Annie Wonga, is an ancient love story. Young men fall victim to a waterhole where the spirit of a woman dwells.

Message Stick – Bill’s Wake television program – 2001

Bill Neidjie, a traditional owner of Kakadu, had a wake while he was alive, rather than waiting until his death, to hear what people wanted to say about him.

Message Stick – Black Olive television program – 2005

As a chef, Mark Olive has developed dishes that use Indigenous knowledge of fauna and flora and food preparation that complements the Australian landscape.

Message Stick – Child Artists of Carrolup television program – 2003

This episode provides another perspective on the child removal policies and how the government of the day had specific designs on how half-caste children would occupy a place in society.

Message Stick – Koori Court television program – 2005

The Koori Court in Victoria was set up to reduce high imprisonment rates by combining Aboriginal beliefs with the white legal system.

Message Stick – Kurtal: Snake Spirit television program – 2002

A beautiful story about Kurtal, an ancestor and Dreaming song, and the Elder Spider, whose responsibility it is to perform the dance as well as pass it on.

Message Stick – Scotty Martin, Rodeo Boy, Don’t Say Sorry television program – 2005

A story about songman Scotty Martin, who inherited the role of composer of songs, a repository of knowledge passed from generation to generation.

Message Stick – The Long-grassers television program – 2005

An exposé on the homeless Aboriginal people of Darwin, known as 'long-grassers’. Deals with both the compassion and the bigotry they evoke by their mere presence.

Message Stick – Wathaurong Glass television program – 2003

Wathaurong Glass is an initiative that not only creates a new way of expressing Aboriginal art, but also provides a service to the community from which it comes.

prev 1 2 next