THE YIRRKALA FILM PROJECT

In 1970 Ian Dunlop start­ed a long-term film project with the Yolngu of Yir­rakala for Film Aus­tralia. Yir­rkala is an Abo­rig­i­nal town­ship on the Gove Penin­su­la in north­east Arnhem Land. These twenty two films doc­u­ment many aspects of Yolngu life. Each stands on it’s own but each is also part of a rich inter­con­nect­ing mosaic of people and themes.

PEOPLE OF THE AUSTRALIAN WESTERN DESERT SERIES

This impor­tant series is the prod­uct of a 1965 film expe­di­tion spon­sored by the Aus­tralian Insti­tute of Abo­rig­i­nal Stud­ies into the ‘West­ern Desert’, a cul­tur­al-lin­guis­tic region embrac­ing half a mil­lion square miles and the ances­tral home of the nomadic Abo­rig­ines. The pur­pose of the expe­di­tion was to doc­u­ment on film the dis­ap­pear­ing Abo­rig­i­nal cul­ture and com­mu­ni­ty. The result was some 25.000 feet of black-and-white film which has been edited into ten films total­ing some three hours view­ing time. These films record the lives of Diaga­ma­ra and his family.
We will show one exam­ple of this series.

AS FAR AS MAKÓ FROM JERUSALEM

This eights part series (1988-1996) explores the life of a Jewish com­mu­ni­ty from Mako, a small town in South­ern Hun­gary and the filmmaker’s own home town. While a few mem­bers of the com­mu­ni­ty still live in Makó, most have set­tled abroad, par­tic­u­lar­ly in Israel, Eng­land and the United States. The series takes its title from an old Hun­gar­i­an saying (mean­ing that some­thing is fur­ther away than you might think) and exam­ines ques­tions such as : Which is fur­ther, Makó from Jerusalem or Jerusalem from Makó? Is it pos­si­ble to find a new home while still main­tain­ing an old iden­ti­ty? Do the Makó Jews abroad con­tin­ue to look back to Hun­gary or have they suc­ceed­ed in build­ing a new life for them­selves?