CiNECiTY – TEN CANOES

This Wednesday 5th August, we’ll be transported to an Australia prior to white settlement and even further still into the Dreamtime when we screen the film Ten Canoes…

ten-canoes-movie-poster-2006-1020409339Directors: Rolf de Heer

Peter Djigirr

Cast: Jamie Gulpilil

Crusoe Kurddal

Richard Birrinbirrin

Peter Minygululu

Narrator: David Gulpilil

Writer: Rolf de Heer

Genre: Drama / Adventure / Comedy

Rating: M

Duration: 92 min

Colour: Black & White / Colour

Released: 2006

Country/Language: Australia / various Yolŋu Matha languages, English

BACKGROUND NOTES:

  • A lot of the shots in this film were inspired by or are recreations of photographs taken in the 1930s by Donald Thomson, an anthropology professor who spent nearly two years with the Arafura Swamp people. He took more than 4,000 photographs during this time, carefully recording every aspect of daily life. One of these photographs—a picture of ten men in bark canoes—became the key image around which the film’s story was developed.
  • This was the first ever major Australian feature film completely filmed in an Indigenous Aboriginal language. Only the voice over of the storyteller is in English.
  • The canoes used in the shooting of the film were made using traditional techniques under instruction from tribal elders.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

  • This film uses layered narrative – there’s a story within the story and multiple objective and subjective viewpoints. What techniques do the filmmakers use to successfully achieve this?
  • The stories in the film are from a long ago time and from very different cultures to our own. What cultural elements do we share with the people in the film? What is different?
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