Synopsis by Ryan Shriver
Legendary Aboriginal actor and Australian icon David Gulpilil's life has been one of dueling lifestyles, with his jet-setting movie star life on a completely different plane from his life as an Aboriginal village elder, and director Darlene Johnson manages to capture intimate details from both lifestyles in her 2003 biographical documentary entitled Gulpilil: One Red Blood. At the age of 17, Gulpilil made history as the first Aboriginal actor to appear on film -- in Nicolas Roeg's 1971 Walkabout -- which, in turn, led to an historic acting career that culminated in his receiving numerous awards and an Order of Australia medal. All the while, Gulpilil remained true to his culture by accepting his tribal responsibilities, which include living in a primitive house and procuring his household's daily food and water. As Johnson films a number of very candid encounters with the actor in both settings, she also documents the class differences that still exist between the indigenous population of Australia versus the relatively new white population. Gulpilil: One Red Blood was a participating film at the 2003 Rotterdam International Film Festival and was later shown on television by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.