Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Contact is about a first contact situation between 'whitefellas' and 'blackfellas', namely the Martu tribe living in Yimiri.

We are told (and shown artistically) about the first attempt at contact and the somewhat more successful (ymmv) second contact. What we don't often get to hear about, and what this film captures, is the culture difference and the initial experiences. I wouldn't say 'culture shock' as such, that would undoubtedly come later, but this contact was driven by needs such as food, and it was more about "get them out of the way of the rocket" than "introduce them to our way of life" (again, that would come later). Just the experience Yuwali relates about first eating and drinking the food and cold drinks shows that they were willing to tolerate but it was not an easy acceptance.

I also found interesting the language difference. Yuwali mainly speaks in her native tongue, but uses english words, mainly when talking about time. "Night and day", "at one o'clock in the morning", there was even a future tense expression I can't remember, all notably in english. That probably says something specific about their culture, I won't second guess the answer about that.

Anyway, fascinating movie about a first contact situation that only happened just over 45 years ago across the ditch.


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