A distinguished rarely seen film! Considered a watershed in documentary film, scholars have written about it, but few have seen it. A remote Aboriginal community in northern Australia made the film TWO LAWS under tribal law. As a result, the film's structure, rhythms, pacing are unlike other films. At the same time, this film represents a high mark in the heady, revolutionary, experimental film practices of early cinema which reached it's peak in the 1960's and 1970's.
Up until now, TWO LAWS was only allowed to be projected as film onto a theater screen. 27 years later, Facets is releasing it on DVD as a film classic. The voice commentary is by noted film scholar, Bill Nichols, and filmmaker Jill Godmilow. Also on the DVD, Aboriginal and other film commentators place the film's significance in the documentary record.
Festivals: International Berlin Film Festival (Market); Cinema Du Reel, Paris; Melbourne Film Festival; Anthropology Film Festival, Oslo; World Congress of Sociology, Mexico City; Edinburgh Film Festival; Margaret Mead Film Festival, New York; Third Hawaii International Film Festival
"White people don't understand that
there are two laws and two different kinds of custom in Australia...
PART 1 - POLICE TIMES
PART 2 - WELFARE TIMES
PART 3 - STRUGGLE FOR OUR LAND
PART 4 - LIVING WITH TWO LAWS
The Borroloola Aboriginal Community is made up of four language groups
from the gulf region of the Northern Territory. The people live within
a tribal structure and all decisions concerning this film were made within
The Aboriginal people of Borroloola have a traumatic history of massacres, institutionalisation and disposses-sion of their lands. Reflection upon this history is increasingly part of the Borroloola people's basis for action and the consolidation and definition of aims. The request for this film to be made is part of this process.
The film is divided into four parts but although this arrangement is roughly chronological the film isn't a straight linear narrative and neither is it divided into four quite distinct parts. There are interconnections between the various parts and interconnections between the past and the present which is dealt with through investigation of history and the way history is con-structed and also of story telling and the processes of story telling.
At the beginning of the film there is a discussion about the making
of the film and how it's going to proceed. This serves to situate Parts
1 & 2, not just as authentic moments in history but as part of a process
which is being constructed and reconstructed and transformed by the very
process of filmmaking.
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