Snake Dreaming: Child's play
A black-and-white clip shows the dramatisation of a story told by the old people in Central Australia. Children are playing games – clapping, drawing in the dirt. A woman announces that some children are going to go with her to get some food. Other children are left behind with the older women, who fall asleep. We see the ominous arrival of a four-wheel drive truck. Summary by Romaine Moreton.
This film is all the more engaging when we understand that it is young filmmakers who are re-telling through film a story told to them by their elders.
Snake Dreaming synopsis
A short drama written and performed by Indigenous children about the Stolen Generations.
Snake Dreaming curator's notes
Snake Dreaming is a story written and acted by young people. The simplicity of the storytelling as well as the camera angles used in this short film give the viewer the strong impression of the event of children being stolen being told from a child’s point of view. Snake Dreaming is a story passed on to the young by the elders, and during the production of this short film, the elders also imparted cultural knowledge to the children, for instance how to make humpies, and other important information.
This is an example of film being used to continue the storytelling tradition that is so strong in Indigenous culture. It is interesting to note that the child characters do not have any dialogue. This relates to the act of being stolen, which saw the voices of the children denied. You learn more about how they think and feel at the end of the film when you watch the credits, as the children talk to camera. The film was conceived by young people.
Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) worked with the youth from the Gap Youth Centre to produce this film. It won Best Indigenous Film at the Alice Springs Youth Festival in 2002.
Notes by Romaine Moreton