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Ten Canoes

1h 30m Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Aboriginal, Indigenous 2006

_“Filmed in Arnhem Land in black and white and glowing colour, Rolf De Heer’s engrossing film tells a tale about how things can go terribly wrong when one transgresses tribal laws.” - Tom Ryan, Sunday Age review

‘Bout time to tell you a story, eh? Then I’ll tell you one of ours…

It is longtime ago. It is our time, before you other mob came from cross the ocean…longtime before then. The rains been good and ten of the men go on the swamp, to hunt the eggs of gumang, the magpie goose. One of the men, the young fella, has a wrong love, so the old man tell him a story…a story of the ancient ones, them wild and crazy ancestors who come after the spirit time, after the flood that covered the whole land…

It’s a good story, this story I’m gonna be tellin’ you ‘bout the ancient ones. There’s more wrong love in this story, and plenty spears too, and plenty wives…too many wives if you ask me…a beautiful young one and a bit of a jealous one and the older wise one and even more wives than that.

And there’s plenty happens in this story…there’s a stranger comes and one of them wives goes missin’ and there’s a man with a belly big as a mountain. There’s sorcery and magic too, and a wrong spear in the wrong body, and more spears and bad spirits. And even that’s not everything that’s happening in this story.

Ahh, you gotta see this story of mine cause it’ll make you laugh, even if you’re not a blackfella. Might cry a bit too eh? But then you laugh some more…cause this story is a big true story of my people. True thing.


Rolf de Heer


Peter Djigirr


Rolf de Heer


Rolf de Heer


Julie Ryan







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