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A comparative study of representations of indigeneity in five Australian and New Zealand feature films

By Janet M Wilson


This comparative study of postcolonial representations of indigeneity in five New Zealand and Australian feature films, examines how postcolonial ideologies overturn the binary paradigms of colonial films about race relations which romanticise the indigene. It refers to debates about the representation of indigenity by white directors, and the collaborations and mediation of indigenous film-making. Its study of Maori/Aboriginal concepts of identity, focus on the different concepts of the past in Australian films, The Chant of Jimmy Blacksmith (1978), Rabbit Proof Fence (2002) and Ten Canoes,(2006), and the utopian ‘cultural recuperation’ of New Zealand films, Once Were Warriors, (1994) and Whalerider (2003) In concludes that Australian films made by white directors represent aboriginality through reference to historical events involving racial discrimination, but the narratives of Ten Canoes draw on indigenous concepts of time. In the two New Zealand features the politics of colonisation are less important: their stories about contemporary Maoridom draw on the tensions between traditional ethnic values and modernity

Topics: PN1993.5.N43, PN1993.5.A8
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