The Song Keep­ers

Te Awamutu Courier - - Classifieds -

The sub­ject of The Song Keep­ers is the Cen­tral Aus­tralian Abo­rig­i­nal Women’s Choir, led by Mor­ris Stu­art.

Naina Sen’s joy­ful, com­pas­sion­ate film shows the com­plex, un­ex­pected con­se­quences of coloni­sa­tion.

There is a scene in which a woman in her 60s as­cends a ridge. The woman is Theresa Nip­per, a mem­ber of the Cen­tral Aus­tralian Abo­rig­i­nal Women’s Choir.

The sur­round­ing ter­rain is harsh desert, the red-hued coun­try syn­ony­mous with the Aus­tralian out­back.

Be­low, nes­tled among the green blooms of tow­er­ing eu­ca­lypts, is a patch­work of cor­ru­gated tin roof­ing that is the small, re­mote town­ship of Arey­onga.

Vis­ually the shot is sump­tu­ous: a strik­ing, sun­drenched panorama that also shows the ex­tent of iso­la­tion ex­pe­ri­enced by the Abo­rig­i­nal com­mu­ni­ties that fea­ture in the film.

But that’s not all. Seated on the crest of the ridge, Nip­per re­veals a per­sonal his­tory that will chal­lenge how many view­ers see their own place in re­la­tion to the im­pact of colo­nial­ism on Abo­rig­i­nal cul­tures.

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