The Song Keepers
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.