Ten years in the making, Putuparri and the Rainmakers is an extraordinary eyewitness account of the living traditions of Putuparri’s people.
The film spans 20 transformative years in the life of Tom 'Putuparri' Lawford as he navigates the deep chasm between his Western upbringing and his determination to keep his traditional culture alive.
Director Nicole Ma documents Putuparri's journey, travelling with him and his family on numerous occasions to Kurtal, a sacred waterhole in the Great Sandy Desert where they ritually make rain. Kurtal is a site of deep spiritual significance for Putuparri and his family and the subject of a long-term native title claim over the area.
Tom 'Putuparri' Lawford is a man caught between two worlds: his future as a leader of his people, reconnecting with his ancestral lands and shouldering his responsibility to pass this knowledge on to the next generation; and both his past and present in modern society, where he battles with alcoholism and domestic violence.
Set against the backdrop of this long fight for ownership of traditional lands, Putuparri and the Rainmakers is an emotional, visually breathtaking story of love, hope and the survival of Aboriginal law and culture against all odds.