Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Monday Night: Film Night "Australia"

Grey and rainy days followed the beautiful snowy weather
in our village and instead of our usual Thursday film
day (tickets are cheaper on Thursday), we went to Cologne
to see the original film version of Australia, an epic
film which lasts for about 170 minutes without
intermission. I could not recall if we had seen
a preview of the film but I remembered posters where
hanging in many German cinemas announcing film showing
starting on Christmas day on 2008.
I was imagining the film to be a story of the Aborigines,
British settlers and how thousand of British prisoners were
banished to this island. None of the latter would be
mentioned in this epic film though which enticed me
to "google" about the history of Australia after the film and
not just associate that beautiful country with penal colonies,
drinking men in the outback, Aborigines and Koalas.
About the penal colonies in Australia...here is a short
historical background taken from wikepedia:

During the late 18th and 19th centuries, large numbers of convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government.[1] One of the primary reasons for the British settlement of Australia was the establishment of a penal colony to alleviate pressure on their overburdened correctional facilities. Over the 80 years more than 165,000 convicts were transported to Australia.[2] The last convicts to be transported to Australia arrived in Western Australia in 1868.

I enjoyed the film, the epic visuals a term I got from
another review and the glimpses on the beliefs and rites
of the Aborigines. Magical moments inside this small cinema
looking at the huge screen feeling yourself to be right in
the film and in some scenes...ehem wishing yourself to be
in the place of Nicole Kidman as Sarah being trained by

a drover played by Hugh Jackmann. So what is a drover?
A drover in Australia is a person, typically an experienced stockman, who moves livestock, usually sheep or cattle, "on the hoof" over long distances. Reasons for droving may include: delivering animals to a new owner's property, taking animals to market, or moving animals during a drought in search of better feed and/or water. Moving a small mob of quiet cattle is relatively easy, but moving several hundred head of wild station cattle over long distances is a completely different matter. (taken from wikepedia)

(photo source: www.squidoo.com)
As I was saying before, the viewers were given glimpses
into the beliefs of the Aborigines and I wanted to know more on this word walkabout
and I found one short info on this:

When Aboriginal Australians Go on Walkabout, they undertake a spiritual journey to a Belonging Place to renew their relationship with their Dreaming and the Landscape. The land is their life, their mother, their way, their nourishment, and their spiritual connectedness.
During the Dreamtime the Ancestral Spirits gave form to the land and established community relationships. Afterwards, in order to enliven the landscape with their powers, these Ancestral Spirits changed from humans into animals, stars, hills, trees, and other aspects of the landscape, empowering the Natural World with their numinous presence in forms that are most commonly referred to nowadays as Devas, Nature Spirits, and Elementals.
For the Aboriginals of Australia, their spirituality and the Sacred is deeply rooted in the Landscape and in their relationship to the environment which sustains them. There are many different Aboriginal Australia tribes who have their own Dreamtime folklore, customs, languages, and totems; but, there are also many commonalities they share such as: Animal Totems, strong kinship, and family structures.
Dreaming Tracks or Songlines distinguish all features of the land created by their Spirit Ancestors as they Journeyed and travelled across it. The story of the Aboriginals is in the land; the law is imprinted upon their Sacred Spaces. These Songlines are the footprints of their Spirit Ancestors as they sang Beingness into the landscape, setting the law.
(More on it, please see:

See the film and learn more about this beautiful
country later.

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