Ten Canoes

Overview

A man teaches his younger brother an important lesson through an ancient fable in this period comedy drama shot in Australia, and the first feature film made in the Aboriginal language of Ganalbingu. As narrator David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu sets up the story, we watch a group of tribesmen led by elder Minygululu Peter Minygululu set out on an expedition to gather bark for canoe building and collect the precious eggs of the magpie geese. It has become clear to Minygululu that his younger brother Dayindi ...
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Overview

A man teaches his younger brother an important lesson through an ancient fable in this period comedy drama shot in Australia, and the first feature film made in the Aboriginal language of Ganalbingu. As narrator David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu sets up the story, we watch a group of tribesmen led by elder Minygululu Peter Minygululu set out on an expedition to gather bark for canoe building and collect the precious eggs of the magpie geese. It has become clear to Minygululu that his younger brother Dayindi Jamie Dayindi Gulpilil Dalaithngu is infatuated with the youngest of his three wives, and Minygululu wants to be sure Dayindi doesn't do something he'll regret later on. To teach his brother a lesson, Minygululu shares with him a long story about Ridjimiraril Crusoe Kurddal, a warrior who finds that his brother Yeeralparil also played by Jamie Dayindi Gulpilil Dalaithngu has become a rival for the affections of his bride. However, while Minygululu's story caries a clear message for his brother, it also goes on long enough with enough twists, turns, and digressions that it gives Dayindi little opportunity to get into mischief during the trip. Ten Canoes received its world premiere at Australia's Adelaide Festival of Arts, and was first screened in North America at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Even if Ten Canoes had come across as insular and inaccessible, it would still have been a major achievement: the first film shot entirely in the Aboriginal language, with an exclusively Aboriginal cast. But writer-director Rolf de Heer ensures that Ten Canoes is beyond mere curiosity. Using the shared language of universal experience, he crafts a highly accessible story, and buttresses it with English narration from Australia's most prominent Aboriginal actor, David Gulpilil. Much as Mel Gibson did with Apocalypto that same year, albeit with a very different budget, de Heer serves as the bridge between his characters and their Western audiences. Given the delicacy of bringing the Aboriginal community on board with the project, one might assume Ten Canoes would err on the side of safeness, rendering its subjects with reverential political correctness. It's to both sides' credit that nothing could be further from the truth. The characters make jokes about flatulence, machismo, and genitalia like all other communities on earth, the truest indication of our common denominators. De Heer's storytelling techniques take care of the rest. As characters are introduced, the camera lingers on a tight framing of their faces, and the half-dozen key characters are referenced repeatedly for clarity. The story within the story is set apart by its film stock, and information is usually conveyed in duplicate or triplicate, cleverly enough so as not to condescend. But what may be most impressive is the balance of tones. While the events of the flashback story depict the jealousies and tragic misunderstandings that afflict all people, they also bubble with a levity that earns de Heer's film its designation as a comedy drama. Ten Canoes illuminates the fascinating and eminently fair traditions that have allowed Aboriginal peoples to operate for centuries in a manner essentially unchanged. Moreover, it entertains.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/18/2011
  • EAN: 9322225086197
  • Original Release: 2006
  • Source: Imports
  • Presentation: Australian Import
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 35,477

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Crusoe Kurddal Ridjimiraril
Jamie Dayindi Gulpilil Dalaithngu Dayindi/Yeeralparil
Richard Birrinbirrin Birrinbirrin
Jamie Gulpilil
Peter Minygululu Minygululu
Frances Djulibing Nowalingu
Sonia Djarrabarlminym Banalandju
Cassandra Malangarri Baker Munandjarra
Philip Gudthaykudthay The Sorcerer
David Gulpilil The Storyteller
Technical Credits
Rolf de Heer Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Billy Black Score Composer
James Currie Sound/Sound Designer
Beverly Freeman Art Director
Tom Heuzenroeder Sound/Sound Designer
Ian Jones Cinematographer
Karen Mahood Asst. Director
Rory McGregor Sound/Sound Designer
Bryce Menzies Executive Producer
Sue Murray Executive Producer
Tania Nehme Editor
Nils Erik Nielsen Associate Producer
Domenico Procacci Executive Producer
Julie Ryan Producer
Belinda Scott Associate Producer
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