Another New England movie, Toomelah, has hit the screens, if again with limited release. The plot is described in these terms:
The film is set entirely in the remote Indigenous community of Toomelah, located on the NSW, QLD border. It was created as a mission during the 1930s, bringing together Gamilaroi and Bigambal people from the surrounding area.
The story centres on Daniel, a small ten year old boy who dreams of being a gangster. He is kicked out of school and befriends a local gang leader, until a rival gangster arrives back from jail to reclaim his turf. A showdown ensues and Daniel is caught in the middle, leaving him with a choice to make about his uncertain future.
Toomelah is a deeply personal story, that intimately depicts mission life in contemporary Australia. The film reveals the challenges facing the young Gamilaroi people of the Toomelah Community. Robbed of much of their traditional culture by Government policy, it is a community on a cultural edge, struggling for an identity. It is a provocative and yet comic story that transports audiences inside the community, creating an authentic world and way of life that is "Toomelah"
I know that many Australians are actually put off by movies about Aboriginal people or issues, but this one is worth seeing in its own right and as a depiction of one aspect of New England Aboriginal life. Further comments follow the trailer.
I have written a fair bit on New England's Aboriginal peoples. In this context, this post is actually the tenth in a continuing series introducing readers to past and present Aboriginal life in New England.
Those who are interested can find a full list of posts by either clicking New England Aboriginal life or, if you want, to read in date order from one up, click on Introducing New England Aboriginal life. I still have to do a consolidation of all my historical posts.
I have also done written a fair bit on New England films. Again, I need to do an update.
It's nice to have a film showing a very different aspect of New England life that should appeal to a wider audience.