2011 Films


5:00 PM

Directed by: Bentley Dean & Martin Butler

Presented with: Embassy of Australia

Venue: Carnegie Institution for Science

CONTACT (Australia, 2009, 80 min.)

While the British and Australian governments were trying to test space rockets, members of the nomadic Indigenous population in the Great Sandy Desert, south of Broome (western Australia) were still living off the land, surviving in extreme conditions. The group of 20 Martu people were unaware that there was a modern society beyond the 141,000 square miles of desert they called home. In this documentary, Yuwali, 17 at the time, recalls the Martu’s startling first contact and eventual removal from their homeland. Now 62, she describes with hindsight and humor the terrifying experience of seeing her first whitefella and her first moving car (she thought a rock had come alive). Her storytelling is powerful and direct. The filmmakers have crafted a fluent narrative out of a few basic elements: eyewitness accounts, original footage and a hauntingly beautiful landscape. This is a startling piece of history as well as a very human story. (—Creative Spirits) Based on the book “Cleared Out: First Contact in the Western Desert” by Sue Davenport, Peter Johnson, and Yuwali. Directed and produced by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler. Winner of the Best Feature Length Documentary Award, 2010 Australian Film Institute.

Introduced by Brendan Wall, Director, Cultural Relations, Embassy of Australia.

Ticket/Reservation Info:

FREE. No reservations required.

Carnegie Institution for Science, Elihu Root Auditorium, 1530 P St., NW

(Metro: Dupont Circle, 19th St. exit. Red line)

(Metrobuses: S1, S2, S4, S9, G2)

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