How great to see Essie Coffey's film My Survival as an Aboriginal (1978) last night on NITV (and all the other great films screening on NITV on Survival Day yesterday!
And good on you Martha (Ansara...and others) for making this film with Essie back then! Thirty- five years ago! I think I appreciate the film much more now, in 2013, than when I first saw it in 1978. I love the pace of the film and Essie's narration. I love the fridge sequence. I always did! And I love the sequence where Essie introduces all her family to us....and the way you film them as they come out the front door of the house and each person says hello. Essie's love of country and family is strong- as is her sadness....
The ongoing issues of colonialism and dispossession raised by Coffey continue to affect Indigenous peoples today. 'My Survival as an Aboriginal', though a call to justice, is also tempered with beauty, and the audience is allowed to glimpse the private world of Essie Coffey and the people of Brewarrina. Coffey is very strong in her fight for justice, and equally committed to ensuring that the next generation are taught cultural knowledge as a means of ensuring an identity invested in the ongoing relationship to land. Romaine Moreton, Curator's Notes, Australian Screen
So I am encouraging any reader of this blog to watch this film. It is as relevant to day as when it was made. Purchase a DVD of My Survival at Ballad Films and visit Australian Screen, which, along with Moreton's curator's notes on My Survival also has a good essay called : A Short History of Indigenous Filmmaking.