murundak: songs of freedom is a fantastic new documentary that follows the Black Arm Band touring their murandak show around Australia and abroad; to the Opera House, the Womadelaide festival, Royal Festival Hall in London and to remote Aboriginal communities that hadn’t seen a concert before, let alone one so big and purposeful and about them.
The doco was filmed during end of the Howard years and the start of the Rudd government, including the wonderful and incredibly belated moment of apology to the Stolen Generations (Archie Roach speaks about being taken from his family as a child, how he came to write the song ‘Took the children away’) and uses archival documentary footage of historic moments – massive land rights protests, Whitlam pouring a ‘handful of sand’ through Vincent Lingiari’s fingers, the Rudd apology.
Like the filmmakers Natasha Gadd and Rhys Graham said, the film aims to bring the stories of Australian Aboriginals into everyday conversation, through the songs. It challenges the ignorance of these politicians (and others) who look back on Australia’s past and don’t, or refuse to, see the violence and mistakes. People like Howard, Keith Windschuttle and Andrew Bolt who say it’s just a biased, black armband view of Australian history. (the gorgeous) Dan Sultan put it so well in the Q&A when he said: ‘St Kilda lost the grand final last year. That’s not my opinion, it happened.’ He said we can’t look at the scoreboard of our history and say it’s just an interpretation, an opinion. It happened.
murundak is a protest film, there’s anger and hurt explored, but it’s also so upbeat and positive. It's so important to hear these stories - and the music is beautiful.
The film is full of hope. Go and see it.
black arm band website
daybreak film website
check out the cinema nova screening times