Charlie’s Country an unmissable film

Screening of Charlie’s Country, followed by Director Rolf De Heer in conversation with Rhoda Roberts and audience Q & A.
Screening of Charlie’s Country, followed by Director Rolf De Heer in conversation with Rhoda Roberts and audience Q & A.

CHARLIE'S Country will likely be the only Yolngu-language movie that you will ever see.

The 2013 feature film by director Rolf de Heer was a success.

The film earned David Gulpilil the Best Actor in Un Certain Regard Award at Cannes 2014.

It is Gulpilil's third project with de Heer after The Tracker and Ten Canoes.

Multi award-winning, internationally acclaimed Australian filmmaker de Heer will be the special guest speaker at a Screenworks event next week.

In his notes about the film, de Heer talks about Gupilil and the need to work with him on this project.

"My friend David Gulpilil is a troubled soul," he said.

"I sometimes liken his plight to that of the great Australian painter Albert Namatjira, who was likewise unable to reconcile the two cultures he had to live in - his own, and ours.

"David can't handle alcohol. He can't handle cigarettes, or sugary drinks, or almost anything addictive.

"All of these substances, foreign to his culture, both soothe him and enrage him."

Towards the end of 2011, de Heer learnt that Gulpilil was in jail.

"Whatever the rights or wrongs of his imprisonment, whatever the reason, I was grateful for it because it probably saved David's life," he said. During a visit to the jail in Darwin, the filmmaker asked the actor what he wanted to do in the future.

"He looked off into the distance. 'Make more films', he said, as if it wasn't possible. 'Make another film with you, that's what I really want to do. That one we did together was the best I ever did'," de Heer said.

Gulpilil was talking about The Tracker.

"I knew I had to make a film with David," de Heer said.

And that is how the film, Charlie's Country, was born.

 

At the Byron Theatre on Tuesday, May 12, from 6.30pm, followed by Rhoda Roberts in a Q&A with Rolf de Heer.