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    Alexandra Bruce
    October 1, 2014

    This is the original version of the ground-breaking Indigenous rights documentary Our Generation. It was the Winner of the “Best Campaign Film” at the London International Documentary Festival 2011.

    ‘Our Generation’ is feature-length documentary that explores the complicated relationship between the world’s oldest living culture, the Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal) people, and the world’s newest, the colonization of Western peoples in the same country. For over 60,000 years, more than 400 aboriginal communities have thrived on the continent. In the late 18th century, Western civilization began colonizing their land and various forms of oppression directed towards the indigenous people have been steadfast in their growth ever since.

    Much the same way the United States has tried to push the Native Americans into lands (i.e. “Reservations”) the government sees fit, Australian officials that reflect little to no elected representation of the indigenous people themselves have in essence herded Aboriginals into small sectors of the continent that are of course disadvantageous places to live for a range of reasons. In recent years, efforts to take even those lands for the purposes of excavating minerals and other resources have been put into motion under the guise that the Aboriginal people will be better served to be restricted to even smaller plots of land that are more urbanized – a way of life that is entirely contradictory to the nomadic one they have lived for tens of thousands of years.

    The forms of basic human rights Aboriginals are denied are many, but one of the most glaring facts touched on in the film is the lack of a formal agreement of any kind between the indigenous people and the Western government that has systematically seized their land for centuries now. It is the only such large-scale case in the world today.

    The story is told through interviews with a number of local people in the community of Yolngu in Northeast Arnhem Land, which is one of the few remaining lands where traditional Aboriginal culture can be found in Australia, many prominent indigenous leaders throughout the country, as well as accomplished historians and human rights activists that deal in the issue. First-time filmmakers Sinem Saban and Damien Curtis paint a concise picture of the deprivation of rights the Aboriginal people are being subject to in the film, as evidenced by its selection as Best Campaign Film at the London International Documentary Festival in 2011.

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