Wednesday, July 26, 2006



I may have had some good news yesterday. I checked The Canon site and found that there is a fault in the wiring of a range of canon digital cameras and the PowerShot A75 is one of them. I sent the camera off for repair straight away and hopefully it will be repaired for free! That will be fantastic! As always I really started to appreciate all the cameras excellent features when I thought I might never be able to use it again. I suppose we’ll see in a couple of weeks if anything can be done.

10 Canoes..... The Movie

Last night I went out on my own and left my girls at home; I finally got to see 10 Canoes. What a great film! It was fantastic to see an all-indigenous cast in a film telling their own story! The characters were great and it seemed to really pass on the story telling process. The film was funny and it was serious!

As the narrator pointed out, these simple but drawn out stories pass on a complex network of relationship, law, morals, and a code of ethics that need to be remembered and followed. They are told, as in the story itself, in a way that a young impatient youth or child can understand and they pass on concepts that would require a great deal of maturity to understand otherwise.

As we are watching the impatient young Dayindi (Jamie Gulpilil) being given the story I felt like there was another story being told. This story was for us Balandas. I would not like to speculate here too much what we were intended to learn from the story; maybe one thing…. maybe another…. Maybe both, or none at all. But there were strong messages about having respect and learning from our predecessors and about respecting and adhering to lessons of the past. The story Dayindi wanted to hear did not end as he’d expected. I felt there were a lot of parallels between his young naivety and the ignorance of us Balanda in matters of etiquette and respect. Dayidi coveted his brother’s wife but he was immature and didn’t understand the responsibilities that accompanied his desire. Wow…..! Sounds like the Balanda approach to the land itself! But maybe I read too much into these stories? Why not? Isn’t that what they’re for? Don’t they exist for this very reason? To make us think about our actions. To remind us that there is such a thing as ‘right action’ and so there must also be ‘wrong action’.

I hope there will be many more films like this, made in the N.T, where people still have their language and stories are remembered. It may not be too late to rescue these treasures from the fate that so much culture has suffered in other parts of this country.

After the film I wandered back through Mitchel Street. Bright lights, blaring Plasma screen TV's, a bar on every corner and every place in between. It has changed so much in the past few years! Modern bustling and appealing to every whim of the cosmopolitan tourist especially if they are looking for a traditional English/Irish Franchise bar experience! It's Hedonists paradise offering a well earned break for all those foot sore adventure eco-tourists who've been there and done that and would now just like to be teleported back to the nightlife to which they are Dependant on. People come to the Territory for that unique wilderness experience and when they get to Darwin they want a break from all that and seek the familiarity of a bustling urban environment. So we give it to them. I didn't see one black face in the street!
It looks like the intensive program of getting indigenous people off Darwin streets and back to the communities they came from appears to be working.
I don't spend much time mixing it in the street so I wonder if the indigenous police have the right to humbug the drunken tourists as well as indigenous people?

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