WorldCat Identities

Ronin Films

Overview
Works: 593 works in 1,060 publications in 1 language and 7,136 library holdings
Genres: Documentary films  Made-for-TV movies  Folklore  Short films  History  Nonfiction films  Fiction  Treaties  Portraits  Legends 
Roles: Editor, 605
Classifications: PN1997, 305.89915
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works by Ronin Films
When the snake bites the sun( Visual )

3 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 203 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A compelling account of the return by a group of dispossessed Aboriginal people to their ancient tribal grounds in the Northern outreaches of this continent. This highly provocative cinema verité work shows the rebuilding of relationships through a shared pilgrimage to ancestral lands and a traditional Aboriginal ceremony, despite occasional failures of cross-cultural communication. It reflects a community in transition through the journey of a family, especially the sole remaining custodian of that spirit country Amy Peters, and also Shirley the daughter of Sam Woolagoodja. Shirley sixteen years previously had taken her baby daughter to be purified ceremonially in a traditional ritual in the film Lalai Dreamtime. This event on film created a unique bond between daughter, grand-daughter, grandfather and aunts right in the middle of their spirit country. The film shows our return with her tribal family to spirit country, the ancient tribal grounds in the Northern outreaches of this continent, and commemorates a ceremony that puts to rest the spirit of Sam Woolagoodja, one enormously important song-man of the Kimberley
A frontier conversation( Visual )

4 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 145 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

A "Frontier conversation" documents a unique collaboration between indigenous and white historians from Australia and North America. In September 2004, a diverse group travelled through the top end of Australia meeting representatives of the traditional landowners, and engaging in a dialogue about indigenous history. The themes that emerged raised more questions than answers; from cultural appropriation and copyright, to land rights, the role of language and art, and what history means to indigenous communities in the current climate of cultural reclamation and survival. The film asks some difficult questions, such as how valuable can histories written by outsiders to any community be? What are the responsibilities of the historian, indigenous or not, to the people whose stories he or she attempts to tell
Lockhart festival [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

2 editions published between 2013 and 2014 in English and held by 107 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"A dance festival organised by the Aboriginal people of Lockhart river in northern Queensland, becomes an occasion of forging social links among eight Aboriginal groups in Cape York Peninsula and Groote Eylandt. One result is to stimulate Lockhart children to carry on traditional dancing."--Container
Marn Grook( Visual )

3 editions published between 1996 and 2014 in English and held by 107 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Marn Grook explores the history, achievements and struggles of Aboriginal sportsmen involved in our National game, 'Aussie Rules'. Through perseverance, natural ability and a love for the game, Aboriginal players have been able to overcome the many barriers placed before them to gain recognition and respect for their prowess on the football field. Marn Grook is a celebration of Australian Rules and the great contribution Aboriginal players have made to the game. Produced by CAAMA (Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) based in Alice Springs. --Kanopy
Something of the times [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

2 editions published between 1985 and 2014 in English and held by 105 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Using a wealth of archival photographs, this documentary reconstructs the life of buffalo hunters in the remote wetlands of the Northern Territory in the 1930s, both the white hunters and the Aboriginal labour that supported their operations. Tom Cole was one of the hunters, now retired in Sydney. With the filmmakers, he visits the sites of hunting camps that he had built before the war in what is now Kakadu National Park. He reminisces on the old buffalo trade and meets some of the Aboriginal men and women who still live in the area who worked for him and on whom he was dependent. He also visits Victoria Settlement (Port Essington): one of the most heroic and hopeless ventures in the history of the British Empire, established in the 1830s, now in ruins, where buffalo were first introduced. For the film, Tom and his former Aboriginal team build a new camp in the way they did in the 1930s, and demonstrate the skinning of buffalos, the washing of the hides, and salting and drying. Hunting was on horse-back in those days, unlike the present-day hunting by helicopter, and Yellow Charlie Whittaker was one of the great horse-back hunters. With other veterans, he comments on the tough life of the camps, when conditions were extremely rough and when they were often paid with food, tobacco and other commodities. The hunters remember the wartime bombing of Darwin and the explosion in buffalo numbers when hunting was abandoned during the war. Nowadays, the buffalo is being eradicated from Kakadu, and rangers such as Dave Lindner, Environmental Manager for the Gagudju Association of traditional owners, explain the modern methods of control. Directed and filmed by Kim McKenzie. Research by Robert Levitus. Music by Cathie O'Sullivan, Chris Sullivan. The Buffalo shooter's song by Jim Doyle, Allan Stewart. Production assistant Norma Briscoe. An AIAS Film Unit production 1985
Just punishment by Kim Beamish( Visual )

2 editions published between 2006 and 2014 in English and held by 105 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

On 2 December 2005 Van Nguyen, a 24-year-old Australian, was hanged by the state of Singapore for trafficking 396 grams of heroin. Van was the first Australian to be executed in many years. Just Punishment tells the story behind the media face of Van Nguyen and the remarkable journey to try to keep him alive. His story affected everyone who came to know it, from those closest to him to the highest levels of Australian politics. It is a story that is guaranteed to remain in our conscience for a long time. -- Kanopy
Full circle [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

2 editions published between 1987 and 2014 in English and held by 105 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This beautifully photographed portrait of the life of Aboriginal cattle men in the Northern Territory was filmed at Robinson River Station in 1986. The station today is owned by the Aboriginal community, providing a base for the community's future. Elder stockmen at the station such as Ten Dollar Don Rory and Johnson Charlie talk about their past experiences with white settlers and the community memory of Aboriginal people being shot by white men. From this violent beginning, the Aboriginal men came to work for the white station owners, sometimes trading labour for food. As one says, it was just like slaving, working for bread and beef. The station is on Garawa land and today the Garawa men have a strong identity as number one cattle men. Against the background of the annual muster, their stories are woven together to give a rich portrait of their way of life, their pride in their work and their close connection to Garawa country and Garawa culture. The annual Borroloola rodeo is another place for their skills with horses and cattle to be displayed. The excitement of the rodeo and the rough riding contests is strikingly captured by the filmmakers. Directed, photographed and edited by Kim McKenzie. Co-editor Anne Pratten. Sound recordist Chris Sullivan. Production assistant Carmel O'Keefe. An AIAS Film Unit production 1987
Cool drink and culture( Visual )

2 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In the Aboriginal community of Mt Liebig, about 300km west of Alice Springs, a group of young women talk about the importance of bush food in their culture and its relationship to good health. In contrast, they associate sickness with "takeaway shop food" and describe Alice Springs as a "takeaway town: takeaway food, takeaway grog and takeaway sickness". The women visit the nearby Irantji waterhole with a group of children to teach them how to find and prepare bush foods - bush bananas, bush berries, witchetty grubs, wild honey, and kangaroo. The foods are not only more healthy but are also integrally linked to their own culture and quality of life. Through their personal experiences, the women of Mt Liebig provide insight into the gentle ebb and flow of their community life and the effect that outside influences have on their existence
Crookhat and the Kulunada( Visual )

2 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

David Tranter continues his series of outstanding films which document the Dreaming stories and history of his Alyawarr heritage. As in Tranter's other films - Boomerang Today, Crookhat and Camphoo, Karlu Karlu and Willaberta Jack - the stories are told by Elders in the community. In this case three old men, Donald (Crookhat) Akemarr Thompson, Alec Apetyarr Peterson and Casey Akemarr Holmes - travel by four-wheel drive out to a surprising strip of green bush in the desert, where a permanent spring feeds a large waterhole. We listen to their stories as they prepare their camp: stories rich in knowledge of the place and its history. They tell both the Dreamtime stories of the Rainbow Serpent, Kulunada, which lived in the waterhole, and also the violent past of the white settlement of the area. The ruins of a white homestead beside the waterhole evoke stories of the white man's clash with the Kulunada, and also the shooting of an Aboriginal stockman by the station manager. As Crookhat tells the stories, he is corrected and prompted by the others. As Tranter explains, "the reason we have a narrator and a witness to tell the story is so the story is told the right way." For Tranter, the quiet, reflective style of his films is "to be simple and straight in the same way that our old people tell their stories. ... You can't bend the story or change it to try and make it fit a format. It has to be told straight." Through his films he can "show the way our old people pass on our stories. I believe it's important to add them to our archive". "Nobody is more adept than David Tranter at coaxing the real depth of these stories from his subjects. The observational approach highlights the absolute comfort of these old men in their own country."--Ray Lillis, Executive producer
Wirriya : small boy( Visual )

2 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This moving documentary is a record of a few hours in the life of a small 7 year old boy, Ricco, from Hidden Valley, one of the many town camps on the outskirts of Alice Springs. He has lived in the camp for most of his life, and is looked after by his three older sisters and his foster mother, Nanna Maudie. Ricco Japaljarri Martin is bright, cheeky and adventurous. The film follows his interactions with his nine dogs, and on a routine day at school in Alice Springs where he has classes in Warlpiri language and culture. The next day, however, Ricco plays "hookey" from school with some other children and goes into the town to explore and to play around. At the end of the day, Nanna Maudie expresses her concerns about what the future holds in store for Ricco. Filmed over a two-month period, the film is narrated by Ricco himself in an intimate, casual style. Beautifully shot and edited, and with an attractive music score, WIRRIYA shows the rich creative potential of the CAAMA documentary group. The film is a non-judgemental and poignant observation of town camp life, and the challenges that lie ahead for the camp residents and for this irrepressible small boy
Bush toys( Visual )

2 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 104 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This whimsical journey into original bush toy creations in the central desert of Australia puts a new slant on the craft of toy making. From the early pastoralist days of colonisation to current international art exhibitions as far afield as New York, we see the inventive adaptation of traditional European-style toys now accepted into modern Aboriginal culture. Made from salvaged materials stripped from car bodies and found amongst discarded refuse around remote Aboriginal communities, these sought after artworks are the ultimate in recycling practice. Individually unique horses and riders are made from copperwire; trucks, cars, windmills and even mobile helicopters are fashioned from an amazing array of materials and assembled with extraordinary ingenuity. The film follows the creative work of a group of young toy-makers from Titjikala community, 100km south of Alice Springs, as they rummage for inspiration in car-wreck yards, assemble their creations at the local arts centre, and offer them for sale to tourists or for exhibition. Their story is full of humour and high spirits, even including a quirky digression when the youngsters take "time out" from toy-making to go goanna hunting. --Kanopy
Sons of Namatjira [from the AIATSIS collection]( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Sons of Namatjira examines the relationship between a community of Aboriginal artists and the outside world. Keith Namatjira is the son of the celebrated artist Albert Namatjira, and emulates his father's distinctive style. He lives with his family in the same camp that his father had established on the outskirts of Alice Springs in Central Australia. One of Curtis Levy's finest documentaries, Sons of Namatjira, follows Keith and his wife, Isabel, and other relatives, in their interactions with the wider world including art galleries in town and bus-loads of middle-aged tourists from the big cities. The film highlights communication difficulties between black and white, and in Levy's terms, becomes a parable of black-white relations in Australia. Tourists and dealers drive out to the artists' camp to bargain with the artists in person. Keith feels pressured to accept their offers but dreams that one day he will own his own gallery, so that his family can make a decent living from their work. In addition, Keith has other pressures: he has to go to court on a charge of drink-driving, whilst at the same time working with a legal-aid officer on a claim for the land they are living on. He and his family are worried that their land will be swamped by the urban development they can see closing in around them. This sympathetic portrait of a tiny community of Aboriginal artists is rich in Levy's characteristic humour and sense of irony. It was the last of Levy's films for AIAS before he returned to independent production, and remains one of the Film Unit's most widely seen works
Malbangka country [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Gustav Malbangka and his family have set up their own community at Gilbert Springs, in the heart of Malbangka country. Gustav talks about his early life, his reasons for leaving Hermannsburg (a Lutheran Mission in Central Australia) and his plans for the future. Shows daily life at Gilbert Springs and a trip to Areyonga
Mourning for Mangatopi [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Because of work commitments and the influence of Christian Missions, traditional mourning ceremonies among the Tiwi people of Melville Island were becoming rare at the time of making this film (1974). The full, elaborate ceremony, called the Pukumani ceremony, lasted several days and involved large numbers of people in ritual roles. It was performed here with full awareness that this may be one of the last times such a ceremony would be staged in the traditional way. The ceremony was prepared by the Mangatopi family of Snake Bay after the death of a 35-year old family member killed by his wife. The dead man's father, Geoffrey Mangatopi, and his family requested this film to be made as a public record of a disappearing tradition. Unique to the Tiwi people of Melville and Bathurst islands, the Pukumani ceremony was not only performed to safe-guard the passage of the dead person into the spirit world, but to re-affirm kinship relationships and traditional Tiwi culture. In 1974, about 1500 Tiwi people lived in European-administered communities on Melville and Bathurst islands. Being geographically isolated, the Tiwi were less subject to other Indigenous cultural influences. Although resistant to white settlement at first, they subsequently adapted to the presence of Europeans. Yet for many Tiwi, Christian funerals failed to ensure the ritual journey of the dead to the spirit world, and failed to provide the emotional release that the Pukumani ceremony offered. Traditionally, women participated in all aspects of the ceremony (unlike women in many mainland tribal ceremonies). Elaborately decorated burial poles were prepared and were the focal point of the ceremony. Food taboos and other restrictions on behavior were intended to control the approach of supernatural forces. Body painting, dancing, re-enactment of past events, feasting and ritual cleansing were all essential parts of the ceremony, designed to ease the path of the spirit. Each kin group has their own dance, rehearsed and performed over several days, defining relationships and re-affirming them. Shot in classic observational style, with great attention to detail, and often humorous, the film became widely seen in anthropology studies, and was screened publicly in many venues around the world. Directed by Curtis Levy
Lurugu [from the AIATSIS collection] by Curtis Levy( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 103 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Made at the request of the people of Mornington Island, this film was the first of five made by Curtis Levy for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies (now AIATSIS). Lurugu is the name of an initiation ceremony that had almost died out on Mornington Island (in the Gulf of Carpentaria in north Queensland) after mission contact during World War One. This film records the community's efforts to revive the ceremony after a lapse of 14 years. Before white contact, all youths were required to undergo Lurugu, which was the first of two ceremonies for making men. In the old days the ceremony lasted months. Now, work obligations and other stresses of living in the Western world meant that the ceremony was shortened to only one week. At the time of filming, about 600 people lived at the Presbyterian Mission on the island, and over half of the population belonged to the Lardil tribe. The Mission staff were invited to observe public sections of the ceremony, along with other visitors including Percy Trezise, a pilot, author and Aboriginal art expert, who had become a close friend of the community. Two versions of the film were made: a longer film detailing the whole ceremony as an archival record for authorised community members, and this public version which focuses on sections of the ceremony suitable for a general audience. The film follows the preparations for the dancing, singing, feasting and body decoration that were an integral part of the ceremony. Dick and Lindsay Roughsey (both of the Lardil tribe) were among those responsible for this attempt to revive the Lurugu ceremony, as part of a wider return to traditionalism in northern Australia, and the film follows their negotiations with tribal members and other groups about how the event is to be managed and performed. Influenced by observational filmmakers like the Maysles brothers, Donn Pennebaker and others, Curtis Levy constructed the film without added music, and with an unstructured approach to following events unobtrusively with the camera, rather than trying to control them. The result is a lively portrait of a social experiment and the excitement that went with it. Directed by Curtis Levy
Aspects of a life collection : working with indigenous Australians( Visual )

2 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

V. 1. Lalai Dreamtime takes the viewer into pre-settled Australia to show a myth from the spiritual tradition of the people. It is the story of Namaaralee, as presented by Sam Wootagoodjah to his son Stanley and his granddaughter Kerry. Namaaralee is the law-giving 'Wandjina' of the Worora people who, along with him, have many other such Wandjinas. The 'Wandjinas' are ancient creators whose presence is real in the painted imprints of cave walls and in the shape of specific land formations. The film shows the importance of the Dreamtime in the Aboriginal culture. --v. 2. The tribal circles of elders of the Wunan lore and law were specific with their brief and I found myself enlisted as their whitefella film man. Unlike the companion film Lalai Dreamtime the task requested was to use film as a means to hold up a mirror to the younger generation, who at that time had left behind their Aboriginal traditions and culture. The intention was to make a direct appeal to their sons and daughters. The elders said that by not listening to ancestral Wandjina wisdom and the lore passed down by them, the younger generation would wander, Floating like wind blowem about. --v. 3. A compelling account of the return by a group of dispossessed Aboriginal people to their ancient tribal grounds in the Northern outreaches of this continent. This highly provocative cinema verité work shows the rebuilding of relationships through a shared pilgrimage to ancestral lands and a traditional Aboriginal ceremony, despite occasional failures of cross-cultural communication. It reflects a community in transition through the journey of a family, especially the sole remaining custodian of that spirit country Amy Peters, and also Shirley the daughter of Sam Woolagoodja. Shirley sixteen years previously had taken her baby daughter to be purified ceremonially in a traditional ritual in the film Lalai Dreamtime. This event on film created a unique bond between daughter, grand-daughter, grandfather and aunts right in the middle of their spirit country. --v. 4. The 1988 Australian bicentenary prompted many artistic events and contemporary expressions of Australias living cultures. One of the most remarkable of these was the first memorial ever created by Aborigines for Aborigines - two hundred bone burial poles were carved and painted by Arnhem land artists to honour the deceased of the past - lost people, lost tribes, lost languages. This unique Aboriginal Memorial captures this spiritual event. This collection seeks to reassure surviving Aboriginal Australians that there is a living continuity of traditions. --v. 5. Interview with filmmaker Michael Edols, recorded in Canberra in 2011, talking about his collaboration with Indigenous communities to create the Aspects of a Life collection of films
Make it right! [from the AIATSIS collection] by Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Barunga, in the Northern Territory, hosts an annual festival of Aboriginal sport and culture. In 1988, 200 years after the British flag was raised in Sydney, the festival took on a special meaning. Prime Minister Bob Hawke was invited to attend and the Festival organisers had high expectations of a political outcome. Wenten Rubuntja, Chairman of the Central Land Council, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Chairman of the Northern Land Council, John Ah Kit, Director, of the Northern Land Council and Pat Dodson, Director of the Central Land Council, worked together to prepare a major petition representing many clans from the Northern Territory. In the form of a large collaborative painting in which clans expressed their story for Country, and a written document, the petition asked the Prime Minister to recognise the government's obligations to Aboriginal people and for agreement to commence negotiations for an Aboriginal Treaty. Presenting the painting and statement to the Prime Minister, Galarrwuy Yunupingu's speech expressed the need to change the relations between white and Aboriginal Australia, to make it right!. Bob Hawke's speech in reply made a clear commitment to commence Treaty negotiations in the life of the present Parliament, but this was not to happen. Kim McKenzie's beautifully filmed portrait of the festival, the preparations, the sport activities, the singing and dancing, the tensions prior to Hawke's arrival, eloquently captures the cultural and political importance attached to the Festival by the participants and by the thousands of spectators
Lalai dreamtime by Michael Edols( Visual )

2 editions published between 2012 and 2014 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Lalai Dreamtime takes the viewer into pre-settled Australia to show a myth from the spiritual tradition of the people. It is the story of Namaaralee, as presented by Sam Wootagoodjah to his son Stanley and his granddaughter Kerry. Namaaralee is the law-giving 'Wandjina' of the Worora people who, along with him, have many other such Wandjinas. The 'Wandjinas' are ancient creators whose presence is real in the painted imprints of cave walls and in the shape of specific land formations. The film shows the importance of the Dreamtime in the Aboriginal culture. "Fascinating for anyone interested in cinema, Aboriginal culture and basically, humanity." - Andrew Urban
Artists of Ali Curung( Visual )

1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Opened in 2008, the Arlpwe Arts Centre and Gallery, in the town of Ali Curung, 350 km north of Alice Springs, provides a focus for the work of a diverse range of Indigenous artists. Artists such as Anita Dickson, May Nampijinpa Wilson, Judy Nampijinpa Long, Valerie Nakamarra Nelson and artefact maker Joe Bird, talk about their work as an expression of their link to their Country. Their art also represents a means whereby they can teach younger people in their community about Country, and also take their stories to a wider public. This delightful film shows the work of these artists, as they talk about their aspirations, intermingled with the dancing and ceremonies that marked the opening of the Arts Centre
The Giorgio Mangiamele Collection : the spag by Giorgio Mangiamele( Visual )

1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 102 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The unreleased version has an adult as its central character, experiencing anti-Italian prejudice and hatred in the back streets of Carlton. When it was suggested that he upgrade the film, Mangiamele re-wrote and re-filmed it with a child in the leading role. Some story elements are the same, and the theme of ethnic prejudice is the same, but the two "versions" are essentially different films
 
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Audience Level
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Audience level: 0.40 (from 0.34 for The Giorgi ... to 0.43 for A frontier ...)

Languages
English (37)