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Ten canoes - Richard Birrinbirrin, David Gulpilil, Jamie Gulpilil, Rolf de Heer

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

One hundred and fifty spears, ten canoes, three wives... trouble.

It is the distant past, tribal times. Dayindi (Jamie Gulpilil) covets one of the wives of his older brother. To teach him the proper way, he is told a story from the mythical past, a story of wrong love, kidnapping, sorcery, bungling mayhem and revenge gone wrong.

Ten canoes is a surreal tragi-comedy in the Ganalbingu language of the remote Arafura Swamp region of north-eastern Arnhem Land, Australia.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Ten canoes image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Australia aborigine drama crime kidnap relationship Arafura Swamp Arnhem Land social myth revenge

Persons of interest

  • Jamie Gulpilil .... Dayindi/Yeeralparil
  • Richard Birrinbirrin .... Birrinbirrin
  • Peter Minygululu ... Minygululu
  • Frances Djulibing .... Nowalingu
  • Philip Gudthaykudthay .... The Sorcerer
  • David Gulpilil .... The Storyteller
  • Crusoe Kurddal .... Ridjimiraril
  • Sonia Djarrabalminym .... Banalandju
  • Cassandra Malangarri Baker .... Munandjarra
  • Peter Djigirr .... The Victim
  • Michael Dawu .... The Stranger
  • Rolf de Heer .... Screenwriter
  • Rolf de Heer .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

That mob up north have made one bloody good movie with Ten canoes. You are taken back into the world before Europeans, before alcohol, before cars, before syphilis, before petrol, to the heart of the true Australian culture: eating, rooting, taking the piss (some things never change). This is a beautiful movie that every Aussie should see.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Languages: Djinba - Ganalbingu, English
  • Picture: Widescreen
  • Special features:
    • Documentaries:
      • Shorts:
        • Arnhem weaving
        • Building huts
        • Dolly dolly
        • Long neck turtle hunt
        • Making a canoe
        • Making spears
      • Feature:
        • People, places & 10 canoes
    • Featurettes:
      • Aerial map of Arnhem Land
      • Thompson time photo gallery
    • Interviews:
      • Rolf de Heer
      • Peter Djigirr
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English

Media intelligence (Blu-ray)

  • Languages: Djinba - Ganalbingu, English
  • Special features:
    • Documentaries:
      • Shorts:
        • Arnhem weaving
        • Building huts
        • Dolly dolly
        • Long neck turtle hunt
        • Making a canoe
        • Making spears
      • Features:
        • Making of Ten Canoes: The Balanda and the bark canoes
        • People, places & 10 canoes
    • Featurettes:
      • Aerial map of Arnhem Land
      • Thompson time photo gallery
    • Interviews:
      • Rolf de Heer
      • Peter Djigirr
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English

Security censorship classification

M (Moderate violence, naturalistic nudity)

Surveillance time

92 minutes (1:32 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 29 June 2006
Film: 14 December 2006 - Re-release
DVD rental: 24 January 2007
DVD retail: 24 January 2007
Disc: 10 November 2010

Cinema surveillance images

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