- Oct 27, 2021
The Karrabing Film Collective, an Indigenous media group based in Australia’s Northern Territories, uses the creation of film and art installations as a form of Indigenous grassroots resistance and self-organization. The collective opens a space beyond binaries of the fictional and the documentary as well as the past and the present. Meaning “low tide” in the Emmiyengal language, karrabing refers to a form of collectivity outside of government-imposed strictures of clanship or land ownership. Shot on handheld cameras and phones, most of Karrabing’s films dramatize and satirize the daily scenarios and obstacles that collective members face in their various interactions with corporate and state entities. Composing webs of nonlinear narratives that touch on cultural memory, place, and ancestry by freely jumping in time and place, the Karrabing Film Collective exposes and intervenes into the longstanding facets of colonial violence—such as environmental devastation, land restrictions, and economic exploitation— that impact members directly.
REDCAT presents a comprehensive look at the Karrabing Film Collective’s work, surveying its existing films to date throughout the Fall.
The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland (2018, 26:29)
In the not-so-distant future, Europeans can no longer survive for long periods outdoors in a land and seascape poisoned by capitalism, but Indigenous people seem able to. A young Indigenous man, Aiden, taken away when he was just a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to save the white race, is released into the world of his family. As he travels with his father and brother across the landscape, he confronts two possible futures and pasts.
Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams (2016, 28:53)
Across a series of increasingly surreal flashbacks, an extended Indigenous family argues about what caused their boat’s motor to break down and leave them stranded.
The Jealous One (2017, 29:17)
Two plot lines meet in a dramatic final encounter: an Indigenous man weaving through bureaucratic red tape to get to a mortuary service on his ancestral land and a fight between a husband consumed by jealousy and his wife’s brother, who excludes him from community ceremonies.
The Jealous One mixes mythology with contemporary improvisational realism to stunning effect, their uniquely inventive cinematic language further cementing their grassroots activism and selfrepresentation on the global stage…
Melbourne International Film Festival