Sunset to Sunrise (ingwartentyele – arrerlkeme): This is the Dreaming
Arrernte Mat-utjarra Elder Rupert Max Stuart sits by the fire, telling his descendents a yarn about the Dreaming. Max has a grandfather from the Lurritja side, and a grandfather from the Arrernte side, and says he didn’t know which one to believe, though they were both telling the same Dreaming just in a different way. Max says that though blackfellas don’t have the bible, ‘…we still know the ten commandments’. Max explains that the beliefs of Indigenous peoples are different altogether and the Dreaming can’t be seen by women, but only by men and it is men that hold the stories, and that the Dreaming – that runs through the ground – is the ten commandments. Before the township of Alice Springs, Max explains, the Indigenous peoples were self governing and had a good life, until the white men came and destroyed it.
Summary by Romaine Moreton
Elder Rupert Max Stuart discusses the importance of culture in the riverbed during a beautiful sunset; he gives instruction to two young fellas preparing kangaroo. The importance of continuing tradition is paramount, and being able to live in both blackfella world and whitefella world is very much about being able to live in the land of one’s Ancestors. Each person is a repository of knowledge, and Elder Rupert Max Stuart is a man who, having experienced Western culture, focuses on his responsibility as an Elder and a caretaker of Indigenous culture and knowledge. There is a whole way of being that is represented through the eyes of Max Stuart, and it fundamentally symbolises the cultural paradox that exists between Western and Indigenous cultures.
Sunset to Sunrise Synopsis
A documentary that carries the words of Rupert Max Stuart, Arrernte Mat-utjarra Elder, his philosophies and message about passing culture on and keeping it alive.
Sunset to Sunrise is part of the Nganampa Anwernekenhe series produced by Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Productions. Nganampa Anwernekenhe means 'ours’ in the Pitjantjatjara and Arrernte lanuages, and the series aims to contribute to the preservation of Indigenous languages and cultures.
Sunset to Sunrise is a yarn, a tale told by Rupert Max Stuart, an Arrernte and Mu-tujulu Elder. A gentle, moving film where we as the audience are asked, at the film’s urging, to listen to this Elder, his words of wisdom, of the experience of his childhood and into his older years. Stuart speaks directly to his people, and chastises them for the irresponsible nature of their lives, whereby the importance of culture is forsaken for white man’s poison, or alcohol.
Notes by Romaine Moreton