an NFSA website

My Mother’s Country Part 1 (2001)


My Mother’s Country is a documentary that gives a personal account of the Coniston Massacre of 1928.

Curator’s notes

In 1928 Warlpiri, Anmatyerre and Kaytetye people were killed on a massacre trail from Coniston down to Willowra. My Mother’s Country uses a variety of techniques to effectively communicate the emotional impact on surviving family members of what became known as the Coniston Massacre of 1928. In the telling of Australian history, it is easy to speak about massacres as though they happened to unnamed and unknown peoples lost in the annals of history, creating a distance between the story and the audience. The oral stories, retold generation through generation and shared with us for this film, are powerful, giving a human face to events that would otherwise be buried in chronicles of the past. My Mother’s Country makes effective use of paintings, re-enactments intercut with interview material and voice-over narration.