“Our Western Aranda communities today face many of the same difficulties Albert Namatjira did over sixty years ago. We are strong, but our painting tradition – our livelihood – is fragile… Getting this documentary out for the world to see will help us continue the work passed down to us by Albert. Help us to keep our culture strong, to teach the young ones and to celebrate our remarkable heritage into the future.”
– The Namatjira Family
A film by BighART created with the Namatjira Family.
Directed by Sera Davies - Produced by Sophia Marinos.
Presentation format: DCP
Official selections: 2017 Melbourne International Film Festival MIFF (world premiere), 2017 Brisbane International Film Festival BIFF, 2017 Cinefest OZ Film Festival Western Australia, 2017 Adelaide Film Festival.
From the remote Australian desert to the opulence of Buckingham Palace – this is the iconic story of the Namatjira family, tracing their quest to regain the copyright to their grandfather’s artwork.
Albert Namatjira was the first Indigenous person to be made a citizen by the Australian Government.
The founder of the Indigenous art movement in Australia, he was exhibited globally, and introduced to Queen Elizabeth.
However, Namatjira was caught between cultures – paraded as a great Australian, and at the same time treated with contempt.
He was wrongfully imprisoned and in 1959 he died a broken man.
In 1983 the Government sold his copyright to an art dealer.
Today his family fight for survival, justice and to regain their grandfather’s copyright.
This is one of Australia’s most potent stories – illuminating the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians today.
"Profoundly moving, what makes the film so powerful is the sense of collaboration and generosity." **** Paul Byrne - Sydney Morning Herald
"Deeply personal… this film is a reminder of how far we have come and how far we have to go." - The Australian
"From Alice Springs to Buckingham Palace – The Fight for Albert Namatjira’s Legacy" - The Guardian
"Fascinating and important" - ABC
SOURCES AND MORE INFO:
This documentary is one element of Big hART’s Namatjira Project – an arts and community development project working with the Namatjira family and Western Aranda communities in central Australia. Sign up here to become a friend of the Namatjira Project, and visit www.namatjira.bighart.org to find out more.