A CINEMATIC RECORD
This mini documentary explores the three different Djungguwan films from 1966, 1976 and 2002. The filmmakers describe the experience of filming the Djungguwan and how the filming came about. Anthropologist Nicolas Peterson talks about the "museum collection" mentality that motivated the 1966 filming. In contrast, Trevor Graham and Ian Dunlop explain how they were invited to film the 1976 and 2002 ceremonies by Yolngu leaders who wanted to record their culture for the education of their children and the wider world.
There is a wonderful conversation that takes place between the two later films, where fathers in the Djungguwan at Gurka'wuy "speak to the future". In 2002 their sons reflect on what their fathers did for them and what they in turn want to do for their children. Initiates in the 1976 ceremony are the leaders in 2002.
The existence of these three films, spanning more than thirty years, highlights elements of continuity and change in Yolngu culture. We see common elements in the ceremonies but also note the changing attitudes of the different generations of Yolngu leaders and how material that was restricted in the two earlier ceremonies is made available for viewing in 2002.