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NITV marks Reconciliation Week with a lineup of films and documentaries

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NITV is marking National Reconciliation Week with a curated selection of programming focussing on reconciliation and justice.

NITV is marking National Reconciliation week, from 27 May to 3 June, with a variety of Indigenous documentaries and films. Each year, Reconciliation Week remains on these days, commemorating the 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision.

Always Blak Always Cracked 
**Australian Premiere** 
Thursday, 27 May at 8.30pm on NITV

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Always Blak, Always Cracked (image – NITV)

Three Murri Comedians and one burning question – what is Murri Humour? This is a  yarn that’ll have you in stitches as it takes you on a journey of First Nations humour, direct from the mouths of the mob in South East Queensland – Murri’s! Always Blak, Always Cracked will showcase the uniqueness and authenticity of First Nations humour from a Murri perspective, which comes from community and oral storytelling, and will explore the collective natural ability that enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to tell a humorous yarn like no other. 

The documentary will draw on First Nations comedic talent to explore the diversity of humour expressed throughout the community, whether that be style or genre, and reflect on the humour with comedy practitioners about the origins of telling a First Nations funny yarn, answering the questions – Where does our comedy come from? Is it still authentic given the world we live in today and the many avenues in which it is expressed? And how do we maintain authenticity while trying to practice cultural maintenance?

Ten Canoes 
Thursday, 27 May at 8.50pm on NITV  

Ten Canoes (image – NITV)

A story within a story. An elder of an Indigenous tribe in the Northern Territory realises a young man in the group covets the beautiful young wife of another elder. 

Set a thousand years ago, during tribal times in the north of Australia, ten men, led by old Minygululu, head into the forest to harvest barks for canoe making. It is the season of goose egg gathering, and the men are looking forward to getting out onto the swamp and hunting the magpie geese and their eggs.  

Minygululu learns that young Dayindi, on his first goose egg hunting expedition, has taken a fancy to Minygululu’s third and youngest wife. Tribal law is in danger of being broken, so Minygululu decides to deal with the situation by telling Dayindi an ancestral story – a story that will take a very long time to tell, all through the next days of canoe making and swamp travelling and goose egg gathering.

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Rabbit Proof Fence 
Thursday, 28 May at 7.30pm on NITV  

Rabbit Proof Fence (image – NITV)

Based on the true story of three young Aboriginal girls, sisters Molly and Daisy and their  cousin, Gracie, who in 1931, were forcibly removed from their mothers and their home in  Jigalong and moved over fifteen hundred miles away, as a part of official ‘White  Australia’ Government policy. Molly leads her younger sister and cousin on a brave  escape and in a bid to find their way home, following, on foot, the rabbit-proof fence that  cuts across the Gibson Desert and towards Jigalong.

Wik Vs Queensland  
Sunday, 30 May at 8.30pm on NITV  

Wik vs Queensland (image – NITV)

This landmark feature documentary surrounds the historical court decision in 1996 by the High Court of Australia, granting native title to the Wik People of Cape York, and the  demonisation that followed at the hands of politicians and media.  

With unique access to the key players of that moment in history, and featuring never before seen footage of the two (then) young lawyers, Noel Pearson and Marcia Langton, Wik Vs Queensland tells a very personal story set against the backdrop of a tumultuous time in Queensland’s history.

Vote Yes For Aborigines  
Monday, 31 May at 9.00pm on NITV  

Vote Yes for Aborigines (image – NITV)

This documentary looks back at the 1967 Referendum, which resulted in the removal of two sections of the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Aborigines. In the referendum, over 90 per cent of voters agreed that Aborigines be counted in the census and that the Commonwealth government take charge of Aboriginal affairs, effectively acknowledging Aboriginal people as citizens within their own country.

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Monday, 31 May at 10.10pm on NITV  

Coniston (image – NITV)

Known as ‘the last massacre’, the punitive expeditions that set out in August 1928  mowed down innocent people across the traditional lands of the Warlpiri people and  their neighbours. The motive was to avenge the killing of dingo trapper Fred Brooks at the hands of a Warlpiri man, Bullfrog, who found Brooks taking liberties with his wife. But as the Warlpiri people and their neighbours tell the story, it’s also the tragic tale of Australian contact history – dispossession by pastoralists and the struggle over resources in a drought-afflicted land.  

Coniston brings together the past and the present through the storytelling of the Warlpiri, Warumungu, Anmatyerr, and Kaytetye people. With the use of re-enactments, historical footage, as well as footage showing the community making the film, Coniston builds movingly to its conclusion that the injustices of the past must be acknowledged as part of the healing process. 

Fair Game  
Tuesday, 1 June at 8.30pm on NITV  

Fair Game (image – NITV)

Héritier Lumumba, formerly known as Harry O’Brien, was in the middle of his best season of AFL when his club president, Eddie McGuire, made a racist on-air comment, suggesting that Sydney Swans player Adam Goodes could be used to promote a King Kong musical. As a man of colour and strong supporter of equality, Lumumba chose to speak out against his high-profile boss. What followed was a media storm and an on-air showdown with McGuire which painted Lumumba as an overly PC, hyper-sensitive villain. Through exclusive access to Lumumba, his friends and family, AFL legends Mick Malthouse, former Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell and sports journalists, Fair Game uncovers the personal and professional journey of a man who at the top of his game, dared to hold a mirror to a nation that didn’t like what it saw.

Thursday, 3 June at 8.30pm on NITV  

Tudawali (image – NITV)

Ernie Dingo delivers an outstanding portrayal of Robert Tudawali, the first Aboriginal  film star, whose lead role in Jedda is iconic in Australian cinema. The film traces the life  of Tudawali from the moment that he was selected to play the lead in Jedda, his career as a boxer when he was unable to find more film roles, right through to his premature death at around age 40 from severe burns. It also portrays the stark contrast between Tudawali’s home outside Darwin, and his life in Sydney, where he did most of his filming for movies and TV series.  This powerful and important story also stars Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell and serves as a vital document on Australian film history and Aboriginal culture.

Mabo: Life Of An Island Man  
Thursday, 3 June at 10.15pm on NITV  

Mabo: The Life of an Island Man (image – NITV)

Mabo: Life Of An Island Man is the story of a small island and an extraordinary man. Eddie Koiki Mabo was born on Murray Island in the Torres Strait, but lived most of his life in exile. Only after his death did the island wholeheartedly welcome him home. By then the island and Eddie, between them, had changed the legal and political landscape of Australia.  

One June 3, 1992, five months after Eddie Mabo‘s tragic death, the High Court of  Australia upheld his claim that Murray Islanders held ‘native title’ to three islands on the eastern fringe of the Torres Strait. Aboriginal and Islander communities across Australia greeted the Mabo judgement with jubilation. The legal fiction of ‘terra nullius’ – that Australia was an empty land when first occupied by white people had been laid to rest – by the highest court in the land. After more than 200 years of struggle, European law was at last coming to grips with pre-existing Indigenous law. But the world knows little of Eddie Mabo, the man who gave his name – and much of his life – to a legal judgement which continues to reverberate throughout Australia. 

Milpirri – Winds Of Change
Friday, 4 June at 9.05pm on NITV

Milpirri – Winds Of Change (image – NITV)

It is early October 2012 and Steve Jampijinpa is leaving Canberra for his home in
outback Lajamanu. Once there, he will play a key part in something very important to him – Milpirri – a biennial community festival of dance, art, and ceremony. But things are changing for Steve and his community. This documentary will reveal what goes on behind the scenes of a controversial and ground-breaking Warlpiri event.

Message From Mungo  
Friday, 4 June at 10.05pm on NITV  

Message From Mungo (image – NITV)

Lake Mungo is an ancient Pleistocene lakebed in south-western New South Wales,  and is one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. This documentary focuses on the interface between the scientists on one hand, and, on the other, the Indigenous communities who identify with the land and with the human remains revealed at the site. This interface has often been deeply troubled and contentious, but within the conflict and its gradual resolution lies a moving story of the progressive empowerment of the Indigenous custodians of the area. Message From Mungo tells a new story that has not been represented in print or film before, and is told entirely by actual participants from both the science and Indigenous  perspectives.

National Reconciliation Week begins on NITV on Thursday, 27 May.

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