Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
The great Australian Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil was a teenager when chosen by British director Nicholas Roeg to star in Walkabout. Since then he has appeared in many movies and countless television series. He has an Order of Australia, he is a renowned dancer, actor, storyteller and has published two books of children’s stories based on his traditional beliefs. The gap between his public life and his private circumstances is encapsulated by the story of him leaving his Arnhem Land home en route to an overseas festival, swimming a river with passport clenched firmly between his teeth. Filmmaker Darlene Johnson traces a 30-year career that is in some ways emblematic of the changing status of Koori culture in Australia. She visits Gulpilil at home with his extended and extensive family. He talks frankly about himself, his traditional responsibilities, and the contradictions and frustrations of his movie star life.