Deadly Vibe Issue 115, September 2006
Over 40,000 years of culture – one philosophy that connects us all.
A new film, made by director Melanie Hogan and starring Aboriginal music legend and community leader Bob Randall, is taking a look at the world’s oldest living culture in a way that’s never been seen before.
Set in and around the community of Mutitjulu, located at the base of Uluru, Kanyini is a tale of Indigenous wisdom clashing against materialist notions of progress. It’s a story not only of one man and his people; it’s also a story of the human race. The message this film delivers is clear – only by knowing our past and our present can we dream of a future.
A listed traditional owner of Uluru, Bob acts as our guide to Kanyini , which he describes as the principle of connectedness through caring and responsibility that informs all aspects of Aboriginal life.
Bob poignantly explains why his people are now struggling in a modern world and what needs to be done for them to move forward.
“The Earth is our Mother,” he says simply. “That makes you and me brother and sister.”
Kanyini was made on a tiny budget; with the idea coming out of an anti petrol sniffing film that Melanie was commissioned to make for the Mutitjulu Community Health Clinic.
While making the film, Melanie met with Bob and talked with him at length about the ravages of petrol sniffing and the many factors that afflict young people in remote Indigenous communities.
“It’s fair to say that in my homeland, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people still seem to be confused about each other and are finding it difficult to journey together,” Melanie says.
“Knowing this, I wanted to create a film that may help to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous people closer together – not just in Australia, but all over the world.”
When Melanie arrived back home to Sydney she realised she had not one, but two films to make. After going through the many hours of footage she had shot while talking with Bob, another story emerged. Kanyini was born.
Melanie sculpted her footage into a beautiful narrative, accompanied by a stirring and stunning soundtrack by Aboriginal composer David Page and black and white archival footage sourced from museums all around Australia.
“As a young person, I feel strongly that many of the values held by our Indigenous brothers and sisters could be of enormous benefit for society at large,” Melanie says. “Particularly their care and respect for Mother Earth and all forms of life.
“In a world that is going a little too fast, in my opinion, Indigenous wisdom may hold some of the answers non-Indigenous people are looking for.”
Kanyini is currently screening nationally.