Rolf de Heer
Australia | 2006 | 92mins | 35mm | Black & White and Colour | Subtitled
“Bout time to tell you a story, eh? Then I’ll tell you one of ours...
It is long time ago. It is our time, before you other mob came from cross the ocean...longtime before then. The rains been good and ten of the men go on the swamp, to hunt the eggs of gumang, the magpie goose. One of the men, the young fella, has a wrong love, so the old man tell him a story...a story of the ancient ones, them wild and crazy ancestors who come after the spirit time, after the flood that covered the whole land...
Ahh, you gotta see this story of mine cause it’ll make you laugh, even if you’re not a blackfella. Might cry a bit too eh? But then you laugh some more...cause this story is a big true story of my people. True thing.”
A parable, set in mythical times following Ridjimiraril and his fellow tribesmen on a journey involving sorcery, revenge, death and the belief that the spirits of their ancestors inhabit the land, waiting to be reborn.
A surreal tragic-comedy set in the remote Arafura Swamp of Australia and rife with humour. ‘Ten Canoes’ uses native languages with English subtitles to allow for a truly authentic experience of Aboriginal traditions, culture and spirituality.
Special Jury Prize – Cannes Film Festival, 2006