Film-maker Marlikka Perdrisat forms a dreamlike expression of her intergenerational connection to Country; a connection available to everyone who loves and cares for a place. This film is about knowing Country, creating memories with Country, and maintaining Country for the next generation.
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About the film
Filmmaker Marlikka Perdrisat has created a dreamlike expression of her intergenerational connection to Country. Intimate moments from the first year of her son’s life bring together family members who are living and deceased, reuniting three sisters in song and smoke.
Marlikka’s family home movies include rare footage of hunting, ceremony and diving for pearl shell that was filmed in the remote 1940s Kimberley. This, interwoven with Australian archive material from the same era, shows how every person across this continent has memories entwined with Country. Stories heard from our parents and grandparents, about when they were young, creating nostalgia and fondness for place.
As the film travels through Lower Nyikina Country, we feel the intention to slow down and observe. Discussions of Country centre the film, including a conversation with Marlikka’s mother Prof, a renowned human and earth rights advocate, and a highly regarded academic who holds two Doctorates of Philosophy. Prof. Poelina explains the intergenerational relationship her family has with this land, and why she chose to invest in her children’s relationship with Country.
This film is about knowing Country, creating memories with Country, and maintaining Country for the next generation.
I want people to understand that every moment you are alive, every memory you hold is with Country. Every experience happens with place. It doesn’t matter if it’s a wild forest or covered in cement. Sometimes it’s a place that you or your family have known for a long time, or a place you have only met a few times before. Sometimes a place is completely new to you. The more you live with that place, the more you learn from that place, the better decisions you can make for that place.
When I was pregnant, we were mapping a song line which passes through a beautiful lake in the desert. It was the first time in 40 years the old women leading us had visited. As we arrived, everyone saw how the Country came alive. It woke up, and was happy to know that this lake, this ungud, would not be forgotten. This memory always reminds me that Country gets lonely and wants our company.
I wanted to represent the feeling of Country waking up when people return.
Babnil is produced by:
- Contributors: Jeanie Warbie, Dr. Anne Poelina, Pat Riley, Lloyd Kwilla
- Director, Producer, Editor: Marlikka Perdrisat
- Director of Photography: Harry Jak
- Sound Design: Petris “Jinunyili” Torres
- Production Manager, Impact Producer: Jayde Harding
- Executive Producers: Kelrick Martin, Anna Kaplan, Damon Gameau
- Unit Manager: Vennessa Poelina
- Music: Kalaji
- Picture Post: Elements
- Post Supervisor: Gabrielle Joosten
- Colour Grade: Billy Wychgel
- Archive Researcher: Kristie Barnett
- Archival Footage: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia’s Film Australia Collection, Mitra Films, Lorraine Bottrell, Noel Perdrisat
- Special thanks to: Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council, Groundswell Giving, Teri Calder, Paul Williams, Hollie Fifer
The producers acknowledge Mardoowarra, as a living ancestor, who retains the right to live and flow. Mardowarra is intertwined with the Country and families with whom the film was made with.