YOLNGU BOY: DVD
Lorrpu (John Sebastian Pilakui), Botj (Sean Mununggurr) and Milika (Nathan Daniels) are boys of the Yolngu people in a remote Arnhem Land community. As boys they dreamed of becoming hunters, but in their teens Botj has been to a detention centre for stealing, Milika has decided to become and AFL footy player, and Lorpu is not quite sure what he wants to do, however knows he wants to be initiated by the elders and become a ‘man’. But when Botj's petrol sniffing habit gets him into trouble again, Lorrpu feels bound to go to his aid, and with Milika he helps Botj evade the authorities and together they head for Darwin. Travelling by canoe and on foot, the three have to rely on traditional hunting skills to survive. The land, its beauty and hardship, reawakens Botj's sense of tradition, spirit and belonging. Alone in the spiritual wilderness of NorthEast Arnhem Land the boys discover peace and unity, only to arrive at Darwin and fall again into despair.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Combination morality story and road movie, Yolngu Boy is as hard to market as the title is to pronounce – but it deserves some attention from several quarters. Avoiding the traps of preaching its message of alienated Aboriginal youth in Arnhem Land, the film is more tough-hearted than bleeding hearted, scoring dramatic points with its unsentimental approach to issues like petrol sniffing.
The spectacular natural settings of the film add to both its visual appeal and the irony of its subject: the dramatic beauty of the landscape enduring such harrowing human conditions . . . Spiked with a feisty soundtrack and seamless production design, this low budget film should be required viewing by bureaucrats, politicians, Aboriginal community leaders, Aboriginal youth and by sanctimonious do-gooders who don’t understand the day to day issues of life in small Aboriginal communities. But it should be seen as much for its story telling and characters as for its informational value.
Features include Behind the scenes: on location interviews, trailers and additional information interviews.
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YOLNGU BOY: DVD (M)
CAST: Sean Mununggurr, John Sebastian Pilakui, Nathan Daniels, Lirrina Mununggurr, Sarah Fincham-Thomson, Makuma Yunupingu, Lalambarri Yunupingu, Mangatjay Yunupingu, Mulati Yunupingu, Merrkie Ganambarr
DIRECTOR: Stephen Johnson
SCRIPT: Chris Anastassiades
RUNNING TIME: 85 minutes
PRESENTATION: 16 X 9 widescreen; English in Dolby Digital Stereo
SPECIAL FEATURES: Trailers; Behind the Scenes: On location interviews; additional information interviews; scene access; animated menus;
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: (rental) February 13, 2002; (retail) July 17, 2003