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THIS IS MY LAND

This mini documentary offers a brief history of the Yolngu and the important role that the land plays in their spiritual and material lives. The central features of the documentary are the Yolngu's concepts of land tenure and the clash of cultures and priorities that followed European colonisation.

The documentary depicts the concerns of Yolngu elders about the influence of European culture and especially the damaging effects of alcohol. Mungurrawuy Yunupingu is heard in a voiceover describing the arrival of the Nabalco mine as 'the new law'.

A key focus of the min doc is the Homeland Movement that was in full swing at the time when Djungguwan at Gurka'wuy was filmed in 1976. In that film, an elder, Mithili Wanambi, explains the importance of the move back to traditional clan lands. He says that it is 'to show that our foundation is in this country' and that he hopes the film he has encouraged Ian Dunlop to make will help the outsiders to understand 'about our land and our sacred law'.

The filmmaker Ian Dunlop summarises many of these ideas when he says that the images associated with Yolngu ceremonies amount to title deeds. This concept is further developed in scenes from the 2002 Djungguwan - Speaking to the Future where Wukun Dennis Wanambi is seen decorating one of the ceremonial poles used in the Djungguwan ceremony. He says that the video and images that he is creating will stand as proof of ownership so that 'white people can't steal our land'.