84 min, 2020, dir. Maya Newell
Dujuan is a 10-year-old Arrernte boy from Mparntwe (Alice Springs) in Australia. Full of life and exuberance, he learns, with the support of his loving mother and grandmother, to hunt, speak two Indigenous languages and become a healer. Dujuan is politically astute and a leader in the making. But within the westernised school system, his strength and intellect go unnoticed and the colonial approaches to education threaten him with failing grades. At the time of filming, 100% of the youth in Alice Springs detention centres were Aboriginal, and throughout the film it becomes increasingly clear that the system is set up to work against young boys like Dujuan. This powerful film, made in collaboration with Dujuan's family, is an emotional journey through the fight to mend an educational schism between traditional culture and colonial ideas and solidify a future for the youth. Film Website
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"Quietly masterful portrait of growing up indigenous"
"Colonialism is a war that began hundreds of years ago and never ended. Its modern tactics and its weapons are noted with precision in the ferocious documentary."
Peabody Award Nominee 2021
Nominated for Australian Academy Award (AACTA) for Best Film and Best Cinematography, Selected for Sundance Institute Doc Fund, Selected for Good Pitch Australia, premiered at Hot Docs 2019, AFI Docs, DocNYC, and more.
All of these impact goals have been identified in close consultation with Dujuan and his family as well as an advisory group of Arrernte and Garrwa Elders and leaders.
First Nations people have solutions and must have the agency to enact these solutions
Those with lived experience are the experts and their voices should be amplified and heardChildren have wisdom and their voices matter
Everything is connected. Genuine solutions do not exist within silos.
Change comes through working in partnership and networks.
A commitment to cultural safety.
Aboriginal people have solutions
Aboriginal people love & care for their children
Aboriginal people’s knowledge systems and culture are alive and well
Aboriginal people should have right to determine and lead the terms of their education system
Australia needs to be honest about our past in order to build a fair and just future
Aboriginal people live with racism everyday and it causes harm
We need restorative approaches to youth justice rather than punitive approaches
Local & universal messages – this story is about Dujuan, but can be seen as more universal.