Tom 'Putuparri' Lawford has been fighting for 20 years to regain his people's sacred watering hole of Kurtal. Supported by his grandparents Spider and Dolly, Putuparri navigates the deep chasm between his Western upbringing and his traditional culture. Plagued by alcoholism and domestic violence, Putuparri must stay strong and put his historic culture first if he is to secure the future of Kurtal for his people.
This film will be important to historians in years to come, because it documents about 50 years in the lives of a group of aboriginal people living in and around Fitzroy Crossing in Western Australia. This period includes the land rights claim periods, and many changes in the living arrangements and cultural practices of these people and their extended families. There is cause for both optimism and pessimism throughout the events portrayed, but the mood is mostly positive. We enjoyed this experience, and really felt for the various players. The film is enhanced by a large number of old images and archival movie footage which show us how the key players change over this long period of time. The trips to the "waterhole" are most revealing. As well as the excellent performance by the lead actor and narrator, we also enjoyed "Spider" (who has a pivotal role) and "Buster" (a small but important role, in my opinion).There were a few places where the narrative was a little less clear, but I guess that may be caused by a lack of documented material for these scenes. I feel certain that there are parallels with other indigenous peoples in other countries too. Definitely recommended.
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