Great visuals of native plants

Ten Canoes has shown up on Netflix (release date Jan 30, although Netflix doesn’t seem to know that). It has one review, which I’m quoting in full:

Nice touches of “guy humor” about genitals, lots of male bonding, hard to tell how authentic to the aboriginal and/or human condition this is, and how much is a kind of Crocodile Dundee/Aussie copycat thing. Great visuals of native plants though, particularly arborescent pandanus, and shows how to make a bark canoe. The narrator is awfully caught up in the worth of the story, which pulls the viewer back too often, no sustained sense of involvement. Still, it’s a marvelous tale. Really 3.5 stars.

Gee, the indigenous stereotyping quinella of sex and nature. He/She/It missed the trifecta though. Just needs the “plenty of singing and dancing” to get there.


One response to “Great visuals of native plants

  1. SBS recently aired a program called Making Ten Canoes, which, as you may have guessed, was the making of Ten Canoes, how ironic.
    Anyway, it was really very reassuring about Rolf de Heer’s role in the making of the film. When it came out I, like most, was worried that it would be a corny, white attempt at something very traditional and blackfella. Rather it seems that the direction of the film was in the hands of the people of Ramingining. Casting, for instance, was tightly restricted by skin relationships; if a man and a woman are married in the film, then the actors playing them must be able to marry*.
    Other aspects, such as how the canoes were actually constructed, had to be extrapolated from Thompson’s photos and diagrams as those techniques had been almost entirely forgotten. In these instances, de Heer laments that he had to step in and do things like explain the abstract, schematic diagrams of the canoes, showing where they were cut, and so on. This was particularly important as Thompson apparently noted that the canoes used in the Arafura swamp are absolutely unique in at least a few respects.

    *I’m sure they would have made exceptions, like for Jamie Gulpilil, who was probably guaranteed the role of Dayindi in any case. But still…

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