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Wirriya: Small Boy (2004)


An observational documentary about Ricco Japaljarri Martin, an eight-year-old boy who lives in Hidden Valley with his foster mother.

Wirriya, Small Boy is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours’ in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.

Curator’s notes

A sensitive documentary that is narrated predominantly by Ricco himself, and is an example of a respectful treatment of the Indigenous subject. Beck Cole is a respected Indigenous filmmaker, and her experience allows for a poignant invitation into Ricco’s world, his childish perspective kept intact by Cole’s skilful handling of the story. We are present to Ricco’s emergent conceptual world, where the perceived geographical remoteness of his homeland is pushed up alongside the larger world; one where travel to distant places and foreign lands is all part of Ricco’s everyday life and experience.

Beck Cole puts a face to what would otherwise be an unknown statistic of an Aboriginal foster child. Instead, we are privileged to learn of Ricco’s dreams and aspirations, and a child who at this moment, still looks towards a future. Beck Cole’s other productions include Plains Empty (2004) and Flat (2002).