A Call to Evaluate Comprehensions of Indigenous Film in ‘Zach’s Ceremony’

In light of the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s long-overdue restoration of the South Australian Ngarrindjeri and  Western Australian Whadjuk Peoples’ returned ancestral remains, a repatriation commemorated with a poignant traditional Smoking Ceremony conducted by Major Sumner of the Ngarrindjeri to invite ancestral participation and relinquish negative energy, it is imperative to, as a means to preserve – and protect – an Indigenous Australian cultural heritage, trace an authentic, intimate account of the oldest living culture on Earth as an educational opportunity…

…and Aaron Petersen and Alec Doomadgee know this.

Rooted in rich traditions, ceremonies and cultures, Zach’s Ceremony’ (2016), a transfixing, transcendent coming-of-age feature-documentary of familial bonds, cultural identities and responsibilities, encourages an integral, touching embracement of Indigenous Australian Peoples’ (or, howbeit universal, cultures’) epistemes, customs and spirituality. As underscored through its pivotal strained, albeit affectionate, paternal relationship, we need to, in the words of Alec Doomadgee (2016), “awaken the warrior within…”. That is to say, as a front to festered propagandist, distorted representations of Indigenous Australian Peoples in Mainstream Media, ‘Zach’s Ceremony’ functions to (or, rather, intends to) craft, and share, an ever-expanding understanding of an Aboriginal Culture to prompt a much-needed diversification in mankind. By virtue of stressing a timely, palpable and expressively-sacred Indigenous Australian perspective inasmuch as, to Alec Doomadgee (2016), that…

“…the more understanding we have between different races and cultures, that have formed a melting pot in Australia, will be a good thing for our society as a whole. Education is Everything.”

TEDxSydney 2015

Alec Doomadgee Presenting ‘Finding Power in Culture’ Ted Talk (Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/)

Universally transcendent, ‘Zach’s Ceremony’, insofar as to resonate – and translate – across various cultures to incite strength, concurrently perturbs, as a by-product of said transcription, concerns of its features’ dynamic, albeit flexible, audience reception. By way of ‘Zach’s Ceremony’s Education and Outreach Strategy, including a compilation of educational content, such as Q&A Sessions, Study Guides, Edited Sequences, and Internal Programs, an evaluation of the qualitative and quantitative data available on audience variables, feedback and cultural awareness is essential to measure, and assess, the film’s impact.

Call to Watch. Call to Learn. Call to Evaluate.

Spread the Word!

Thomas Joannides


Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/


Documentary Australia Foundation n.d., Zach’s Ceremony – Feature Documentary, Documentary Australia Foundation, accessed 20 October 2016, <https://www.documentaryaustralia.com.au/films/688/zachs-ceremony—feature-documentary&gt;
Petersen, A 2014, Zach’s Ceremony – Interview with Aaron Petersen, Interview with Create or Die on 10 October, Create or Die, accessed 20 October 2016, <http://createordie.com.au/zachs-ceremony-interview-with-aaron-petersen/&gt;
Petersen, A 2016, Interview with Aaron Petersen: Zach’s Ceremony, Interview with Screen NSW n.d., accessed 20 October 2016, <http://screen.nsw.gov.au/news/interview-with-aaron-petersen-zach-s-ceremony?enews=225&gt;
Peterson, A & Doomadgee, A 2016, Hot Dogs 2106 Q&A: Zach’s Ceremony Filmmaker Aaron Petersen and Producer/Subject Alec Doomadgee, Interview with May 5, accessed 20 October 2016, <http://thetfs.ca/2016/05/05/hot-docs-2106-qa-zachs-ceremony-filmmaker-aaron-petersen-and-producersubject-alec-doomadgee/&gt;
Zach’s Ceremony 2016, Wangala Film Pty Limited, accessed 20 October 2016, <http://www.zachsceremony.com/&gt;


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