Indigenous Cinema, at its core, is shaken on account of non-Indigenous-controlled, -owned and -produced mass media coverage, whose reflection on, and motivation of, public debates (Jennett 1983) forms a dense record of secondary-sourced, social discourses of Indigenous Australian Peoples (Bullimore 1999). Reinforcing this fortifies distorted representations of Indigenous Australians, including, but not limited to: the violent criminal; the ‘exotic’ other; the ‘dying‘ race; the welfare dependant; the drunkard; the ‘invisible‘; the out-of-control irrational; the incompetent; and the ‘threat‘ to civilisation (Red Earth 2015).This can create a set of circumstances where, incidentally, the reluctance to contemplate departures from this inscribed ‘cultural norm‘ bolsters a constructed notion of Aboriginality (Nugent et al. 1993) to foster consequentialist, albeit obstructive, implications on contemporary Indigenous issues.
Indeed, the Public Health Advocacy Institute of Western Australia (PHAIWA) identified that, in a 2013 survey on ‘The Portrayal of Indigenous Health in Selected Australian Media’, 74% of said media coverages were negative (Stoneham et al. 2014). Perpetuating this can be counterintuitive through fuelling ignorant, prejudicial and misconceived perceptions of the Indigenous Australian population, whether internalised or externalised (Stoneham 2014).
Thus, an intercultural dialogical exchange, or framework, is crucial to acknowledge and enrich understandings of Indigenous Australian cultures, histories and communities, recognising and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples through driving meaningful, ethical responses to enact positive models of change, commitment and contributions towards Indigenous Australian Peoples’ communities (Stoneham 2014)
To auteur filmmaker Warwick Thornton, Indigenous Cinema is expansively revolutionary, inspiring a much-needed diversification in mankind, prompting attention to contemporary Indigenous issues, including, but not limited to, post-Apology reconciliation, revisions of Australia’s pre- and post-invasion colonialist history and Aboriginal Peoples’ Native Title Rights, in order to impart ethical responses, such as developing government policies, through the elucidation of Indigenous Peoples’ storytelling traditions’ implicit knowledge (ACMI 2009).
If only the world would catch up…
Please Like, Share & Comment!