Stephen Maxwell Johnson’s long-awaited follow-up to Yolngu Boy is the most powerful and engrossing Australian film of the year. It takes an unflinching look at the brutal facts of white settlement, facts that we are still coming to terms with. A massacre of Aboriginal people in Arnhem Land in 1919 leaves deeply damaged survivors: Baywara, a warrior consumed with anger and intent on revenge; Travis, a white man with an uneasy conscience and no way out, and Gutjuk, the boy caught between two cultures. This is a film with all the breathtaking beauty and savage ugliness of this country. It is rich in dramatic tension driven by taut, understated performances by newcomer Jacob Junior Nayinggul, Simon Baker, and Jack Thompson in his best role for many years. “urgent and stinging” (Variety).
The Asia Pacific Screen Academy expresses its respect for and acknowledgement of the South East Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners of country, including the custodial communities on whose land works are created and celebrated by the Asia Pacific Screen Awards. We acknowledge the continuing connection to land, waters and communities. We also pay our respects to Elders, past and emerging. We recognise the integral role Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and First Nations peoples continue to play in storytelling and celebration spaces.