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Across a series of flashbacks, an extended Indigenous family argues about what caused their boat’s motor to break down and leave them stranded out in the bush. As they consider the roles played in the incident by the ancestral presence, the regulatory state and the Christian faith, Wutharr, Saltwater Dreams explores the multiple demands and inescapable vortexes of contemporary indigenous life. The film is the most surreal and near-psychedelic of the Karrabing Film Collective’s productions to date. It explores how the collective’s Indigenous filmmakers experience the containments of missionary-Christian moral codes as well as settler-colonial rule-of-law, and how these layer, displace, but ultimately are absorbed into ancestral territorial arrangements secured in sweat and through generational obligation.

The Karrabing Film Collective began in 2008, in the shadow of the Australian state’s assault on Indigenous social worlds and lands. The collective is a grassroots arts and film group who use their aesthetic practices as a means of self-organization and social analysis. Most Karrabing are Indigenous and live in a rural community in the Northern Territory with low or no income. Their films and art works represent their lives, create bonds with their land, and intervene in global images of indigeneity. They develop local artistic languages and forms, while allowing audiences to understand new forms of collective indigenous agency. Their medium is a form of survivance – a refusal to relinquish their country and a means of investigating contemporary social conditions of inequality.
Karrabing Film Collective members: Trevor Bianamu, Gavin Bianamu, Sheree Bianamu, Ricky Bianamu, Taleesh Bianamu, Danielle Bigfoot, Kelvin Bigfoot, Rex Edmunds, Chloe Gordon, Claudette Gordon, Ryan Gordon, Claude Holtze, Ethan Jorrock, Marcus Jorrock, Reggie Jorrock, Patsy-Anne Jorrock, Daryl Lane, Lorraine Lane, Robyn Lane, Sharon Lane, Tess Lea, Cecilia Lewis, Angelina Lewis, Marcia Bigfoot Lewis, Natasha Lewis, Serina Lippo, Joslyn McDonald, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, Rex Sing, Kerin Sing, Shannon Sing, Claude Yarrowin, Daphne Yarrowin, Linda Yarrowin, Roger Yarrowin, Sandra Yarrowin, Quentin Shields

Production: Karrabing Indigneous Corporation, Nightcliff
Screenplay: Karrabing Film Collective
Camera: Natasha Lewis
Cast: Trevor Bianamu, Rex Edmunds, Linda Yarrowin, Rex Sing

Format: single-channel video installation, color
Running time: 29 min
: English

Photo: © Karrabing Film Collective

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur