The Ancestral Present: Three films from the Karrabing Film Collective

Karrabing Film Collective is an award-winning group of intergenerational Indigenous filmmakers from the Belyuen community in the Northern Territory. Their films interrogate the conditions of inequality for Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory, and retain connections to land and their ancestors.

Karrabing Film Collective’s distinct genre of filmmaking, often described as “improvisational realism”, blur drama and satire forcing the viewer to search beyond the boundaries of documentary and fiction. The result is a deeply contemplative - and at times, confronting – narrative which set in motion another articulation of past, present and future.

Yarra Ranges Council is proud to present these films in association with NAIDOC week. The films also form part of the 2019 Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Jealous One (29 mins)
The Jealous One unfolds along two plot lines that meet in a dramatic final encounter: the first is a story of an Indigenous man weaving through bureaucratic red tape to get to a mortuary service on his ancestral land. The second culminates in a fight between a husband consumed by jealousy and his wife’s brother, who exclude him from community ceremonies.

Night Time Go (31 mins)
Night Time Go oscillates between drama and humour, fact and fiction. The film explores the Australian government’s detainment of Indigenous people during the Second World War, which was experienced firsthand by Karrabing ancestors. Combining re-enactments with modified archival footage, what begins as a restaging of the past slowly turns into a speculative, alternative history in which the group inspires a general Indigenous insurrection that drives out settlers from the Top End of Australia.

The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland (26 mins)
A surreal exploration of Western toxic contamination, capitalism and of human and non-human life. Set in a land poisoned by capitalism where only Indigenous people can survive long periods outdoors, the film tells the story of a boy, Aiden, taken away as a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to save the non-Indigenous race.

These films have had an illustrious career so far, having been exhibited at Moma in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Tate Modern and the Biennale of Sydney among others.

The Memo, Healesville
Thu 6 Jun – Tue 16 Jul

Come with your coffee or lunch and enjoy the films which will be playing on loop in the gallery. See venue opening times here.

Free exhibition.

Warning: Adult content, viewer discretion is advised. These films contain images of people who have passed away.

Healesville Memorial Hall
235 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

The Ancestral Present: Three films from the Karrabing Film Collective
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