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WOMEN OF THE SUN 25 YEARS LATER

SYNOPSIS:
Women Of The Sun is a four hour television drama mini series that screened on Australian television (SBS and later the ABC) in 1981, co-written by Sonia Borg and Hyllus Maris. It had a tremendous impact, bringing the Aboriginal story through the eyes of Aboriginal women - in their own language - to a national audience for the first time. Twenty-five years later, the producer of that series, Bob Weis, sets out to find out the impact the film had on five of the women who played major roles in the original series. Weis returns to Yirrkala where he found the cast for the first episode of the original series.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
It's when Bob Weis explains how he feels connected to the history of Aboriginals in white Australia that the penny drops: European Jews the Weis family, by their millions, shared a similar experience to the Aboriginals, in a vicious echo of history that Weis has experienced very personally. But this is merely one aspect of this simple, honest and yet evocative documentary, which engages us.

Given the political nature of the subject and the absence of a social resolution to co-existence, the film weaves a balanced path between dramatic nostalgia and socio-political re-assessment. The images are not always crisp and clear, but the message is from the heart. And as a bonus, we get glimpses of the original mini series, which serve to highlight what a powerful achievement that was in every sense. It was the first time Aboriginal history was presented in a mass medium to Australians.

This film reminds us of that giant step, but it also helps put it into context, adding a new layer of meaning and lasting value to the original milestone - and to this always fascinating and sometimes moving memoir, told with all the benefits of hindsight.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

WOMEN OF THE SUN 25 YEARS LATER (PG)
(Aust, 2006)

CAST: Documentary featuring Sonia Borg, Professor Marcia Langton, Djerrkngu Yunupingu and her sons Ralkurra and Bakamumu Marika, Shirley Nirrpurranyydji, Naykalan Mununggur, Gatja Munyarryun, Chips Mackinolty, Justine Saunders, Boori (Monty) Pryor, Michelle LaCombe, Eva Johnson, Renee Johnson

PRODUCER: Bob Weis

DIRECTOR: Bob Weis

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Jason Ramp

EDITOR: Rani Chaleyer

RUNNING TIME: 80 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Ronin Films

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sydney: October 26; Melbourne: November 2, 2006







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