In 2005, Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer traveled to the nation's Northern Territory to shoot Ten Canoes, a story based on an Aborigine folk tale that featured a cast of native peoples speaking their native language, a first in Aussie cinema. Documentary filmmakers Molly Reynolds and Tania Nehme joined de Heer on this unusual journey, and Balanda and the Bark Canoes is a chronicle of the making of Ten Canoes. As well as capturing the ups and downs of making a motion picture, Balanda and the Bark Canoes also documents the filmmakers' respectful but sometimes uneasy relationship with people who are clearly uncomfortable with having certain aspects of their culture and heritage interpreted by outsiders. Balanda and the Bark Canoes received its world premiere at the 2006 Sydney Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
A Fandango Australia production. Supported by Bula'bula Arts Aboriginal Corporation. Produced in association with SBS Independent.
Director: Molly Reynolds, Tania Nehme, Rolf de Heer.
Producer: Rolf de Heer, Julie Ryan
Cast: Editor, James Geurtis - Camera Operator, Charlie Hill-Smith - Camera Operator, Rolf de Heer - Screenwriter, Tania Nehme - Screenwriter, Molly Reynolds - Screenwriter
Tags: Ten Canoes Library balanda movie Australian aborigine; Torres Strait Islander;
It is May, 2005 in Central Arnhem Land: 'We are making a movie. The story is their story, those that live on this land, in their language, and set a long time before the coming of the Balanda, as we white people are known. For the people of the Arafura Swamp, this film is an opportunity, maybe a last chance to hold on to the old ways. For all of us, the challenges are unexpected, the task beyond anything imagined.
For me, it is the most difficult film I have made, in the most foreign land I've been to...and it is Australia.'