Celebrating Indigenous stories on screen for Reconciliation Week

Credit Image by jason M from Pixabay

In this week’s post, the Broad lets you know about film screenings and even virtual artists markets which are part of with the week-long National Reconciliation Week event that celebrates Indigenous culture and recognises the ongoing project of reconciliation in Australia. Plus, you can find some suggestions for several Indigenous TV series and films to watch on your streaming platform.

And a warning that links may go to sites that may contain names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people

Australia’s National Reconciliation Week kicks off on 27th May and runs until 3rd June. The two dates are significant – the first commemorates the successful 1967 referendum on including Indigenous Australians in the census, and the second coincides with the High Court Mabo decision recognising Native Title.

This year is significant because it marks the twentieth anniversary of the reconciliation walks of 2000, when people came together to walk on bridges and roads across the nation and show their support for a more reconciled Australia. There’s a lot happening, but most of it virtually this year. If you want to mark the event, everyone is being encouraged to participate in a national acknowledgement of country via social media, images, video, text or silent reflection. At midday on 27th May you can acknowledge the Traditional Owner of the land with the hashtags #InThisTogether2020 and #NRW2020. This map of Indigenous Australia can help you find the local custodians.

Host a film for Reconciliation Week

You can host a Reconciliation Film Club screening during the week and SBS and NITV have a lost of docos like Adrian Russell Wills’ Black Diva and Wik vs Queensland, Warwick Thornton’s We Don’t Need a Map, Grant Leigh Saunder’s Teach a Man to Fish,  Erica Glynn’s Truth be Told: Lest We forget, and Nicole Ma’s Putuparri and the Rainmakers

Indigenous TV series to watch now

In Mystery Road an Indigenous detected, played by Aaron Pedersen, returns to the Outback to investigate a murder on a cattle station and starts to uncover a web of crime and dangerous underbelly in the area.

Mystery Road was initially a 2013 film directed by Ivan Sen and the spin-off TV series is now in its second series. Detective Jay Swan, again played by Pedersen, returns to investigate another grisly crime in a new town, while struggling as an outsider and held in suspicion by his own force and his own community and all the tensions that entails. The film along with the two series can be streamed on Apple TV, Stan, Google Play and YouTube.

For an urban Aboriginal story, have a look at Redfern Now, about six households in the urban Sydney suburb of Redern whose lives are affected by small choices, everyday events and unexpected incidents. It’s available on Apple TV, Google Play and YouTube.

Indigenous films to watch now

Top End Wedding is a 2019 rom com about a couple, Lauren and Ned, who need to travel to the Top End to locate Lauren’s mother who is lost in the Outback so they can reunite her parents and go ahead with their wedding. Find it on Apple TV, Google Play and YouTube. If you like this, the Broad would also recommend The Saphires, a 2012 film about four young Aboriginal singers set who must entertain the US troops in Vietnam in 1968.

More Indigenous Film and TV recommendations

If you’re looking for more suggestions on Indigenous films and documentaries to watch, the Broad has found several round-ups. As part of its Reconciliation Week program, NITV and SBS has a Warwick Thornton special celebrating the works of the Arrente filmmaker.

The New York Times has collated five Indigenous films you must see that includes Thornton’s 2018 film Sweet Country.

Mashable has a list of eight Indigenous films to see that includes Ivan Sen’s Beneath Clouds and the TV series Cleverman.

NG Media hosts TV episodes as well as films and documentaries that include Desert Kitchen and Yarnangu Detective.

IndigiTUBE is an online platform with music, radio and podcasts focusing on First Nations people.

The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) has rounded up 10 trailblazing Indigenous TV series and films from the 1973 film Basically Black to Mabo and the First Australians and Bush Mechanics TV series.

The National Film and Sound Archive has a collection of short films by Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander filmmakers.

The Sydney Film Festival, which will run in virtual mode this year, has a First Nations’ program with feature films and documentaries and several short films from Australia and around the world.

Finally, news came out last month that DC comic book series Suicide Squad will have its first Indigenous character, Thylacine, a superhero who is a Ngarluma woman from the Pilbara.

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Rosalyn Page
Journalist, blogger and writer covering arts, culture, travel and digital lifestyle at www.rosalynpage.com and www.somenotesfromabroad.com.

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