Lalai - Dreamtime and Floating Thistime (1975)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Race & Ethnicity, Social Issues, Sociology  |   Run Time - 75 min.  |   Countries - Australia  |  
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Two documentaries which incorporate Australian Aboriginal myth and practice are combined here into one film, directed by Mike Edols, with the cooperation of an elder of the Aboriginal Worora tribe, Sam Woolagoodja. In Dreamtime, the stories of the Wandjinas -- who the Aborigines believe created their people -- and Namaaraalee -- a member of the Wandjina tribe who gave the tribal laws to the Worora -- are reenacted as Sam narrates in his own language to his son and granddaughter. The film is shot at the sacred site which embodies the story being told. The subtitles were respectfully translated from Worora and composed in English with the help of a professor of linguistics (Michael Silverstein) and a noted Sydney poet (Andrew Huntley). The second documentary Thistime contrasts the ancient ways of living with life in a resettlement camp. Sam Woolagoodja makes an eloquent and impassioned plea for his people to revive their ancient ways. Both films are rare, unsensationalistic glimpses into the lives of these poorly understood native peoples of Australia.