Snake Dreaming: Where are the children?
The food gathering expedition returns to find the children left at the camp missing. The tracks reveal that a white man with boots had entered the camp and taken the children while the older women slept. The camp begins to wail. Summary by Romaine Moreton.
The film is shot from the child’s perspective, and it has a rawness to it quite different to the sophisticated technique of Rabbit Proof Fence. This film is valuable in that what is being retold captures the child’s imagination.
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