Ten Canoes (15)

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The Independent Culture

Aborigines on film have usually been seen through white men's eyes. Ten Canoes turns the spotlight exclusively on the tribespeople and conjures a strange, beguiling folk tale, a story within a story. In northern Australia, 10 men go into the swamp to hunt for goose eggs: one, a young hunter named Dayindi (Jamie Gulpilil) has taken a fancy to a wife of the elder Minygululu. The latter decides to deal with this by telling him an ancestral story of kidnapping, sorcery and the rituals of life and death. It's the best Australian Aboriginal film since The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, which came out nearly 40 years ago.