Indigenous elders speak on film



Screengrab from the film Bigali Hanlon

Brooke Couper, Reporter

Indigenous Elders of Western Australia will reveal their lives, culture and achievements in a series of four short films made by Indigenous filmmakers screening from May 20 – 24. Each film runs for approximately 15 minutes and they will be playing on a loop from 12-2pm at the City of Perth Library.

Bigali Hanlon features in one of the documentaries, directed by Mitch Torres. Bigali was aged six in 1947 and along with her younger brother, they were stolen from their family in the East Pilbara. She was separated from her brother and sent to a Perth children’s home known as Sister Kate’s. The documentary shows her journey that reconnects her to her family.

Torres directed another documentary about Laurel Nannup. This one follows Laurel who was born in 1943 at the Carrolup Native Settlement. She worked as a domestic servant until the age of16 and eventually studied printmaking at Curtin University. Now Nannup is an artist who remembers her experiences through her art.

Cedric Jacobs, directed by Karla Hart, follows the story of Cedric and his siblings who were stolen while their parents were working. He discusses his difficulties of growing up at Mogumber Mission and how he found comfort in his love for church and his family.

Alf Taylor, directed by Irma Woods and Karla Hart, follows Alf as he was removed from his mother as a child and sent to live in a Catholic Mission.

Screenwest has partnered with the State Library, providing a meaningful boost to the WA heritage film appeal.

Devina McPherson, Screenwest Indigenous program manager said, “capturing and celebrating these Elders’ stories and communities, before they are lost forever has been so vital…”

“I’d like to thank all the brave Story Owners, who have shared their life stories, personal achievements and community history with the ICS team, and trusted us to capture their stories. I hope that the future generations will continue to capture Indigenous stories on film.”

Screenwest has a $16 million Western Australian regional film fund that offers direct production support in consideration of the range of benefits quality productions provide to regional WA.

The Indigenous Communities stories reflect the history of WA and feature the Indigenous history and culture through the narrator’s eyes. For more information click here.