Frances Daingangan is a 45-year old mother of three who comes from the remote community of Ramingining in North East Arnhem land. Like many young girls, Frances dreamed of being a movie ... See full summary »

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Frances Daingangan is a 45-year old mother of three who comes from the remote community of Ramingining in North East Arnhem land. Like many young girls, Frances dreamed of being a movie star - a dream that came true when Rolf de Heer cast her in the lead female role of Nowalingu in Ten Canoes. Her journey from traditional tribal life to red carpets and awards ceremonies is unlike any other. It's a fascinating and unique story as Frances learns to overcome huge personal and cultural challenges. River of No Return is a story of change and transformation as Frances learns to move between the ancient life of the Yolgnu and modern world of the balanda (white culture). Written by Johnson, Darlene

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movie star | f rated | See All (2) »

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Documentary

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21 June 2008 (Australia)  »

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(TV version)| (Digibeta Pal)

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1.66 : 1
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Moving and inspiring documentary about Frances Djulibingu, an Australian aboriginal woman, and her determination to fulfill a childhood dream against terrific odds.
5 January 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

I just finished watching River of No Return on NITV in Australia.

I have never written a review before, but felt compelled to as there was no review for this moving documentary on IMDb.

River of No Return, written and directed by Darlene Johnson, allows us to enter a world that most reading this have no experience of. We may know what it is to go without, but not many of us would have experienced the kind of life that actress Frances Djulibing has had.

The backdrop of extreme poverty and unbelievably poor living conditions in the remote community of Ramingining in North East Arnhem land in the Northern Territory of Australia, makes Frances' story even more remarkable. You can't help but be struck by her courage and her quiet but firm determination to follow her dream of screen acting.

We learn that the spark that lit her desire to act came from her own admiration of a Hollywood icon. This woman with one of the most famous faces in the world, who came from fairly humble beginnings herself, becomes Frances' inspiration to act and even to live, against sometimes tremendous odds.

I was moved to tears of sadness, but also joy. You will be shocked and I hope angry, by some of what you learn from this documentary, but you will also find yourself laughing along with Frances as she and her family relive some of the more unique dance performances of her people.

Her longing to be able to tell the stories of her ancestors through screen acting have been partially fulfilled, and I for one hope that Frances Djulibing gets many more opportunities to do this. Her debut performance in Ten Canoes as Nowalingu, the second wife, was brilliant.


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