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1h 18m Documentary, History, Australia, Australian 2010

Yuwali was 17 when her first contact with white men was filmed. Now 62 years of age, she tells the story behind this extraordinary footage.

Contact is constructed around one of the most compelling pieces of footage in Australian history: the moment in 1964 when a group of Martu women and children walk out from their nomadic existence of millennia in the Western Desert into a new universe – modern Australia. Remarkably, participants from both the Aboriginal and European sides are alive to tell their story.

The film centres on Yuwali, the beautiful seventeen-year–old girl we see making that giant leap on 24 September 1964. Now sixty-two, vibrant and with a gorgeous infectious laugh, Yuwali still remembers life before contact, when her tribe flourished in one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

Yuwali has lived through contact, missions, remote settlements, Native Title and desperate efforts to hold on to language and culture. In effect, she represents a microcosm of the Aboriginal experience since settlement in 1788. In many ways, Contact is not only a story about the past. It holds up a mirror to contemporary society.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the following program may contain images and voices of deceased persons.




Bentley Dean