Australian Indigenous Short Film: 'Introducing Wayne Blair's Djarn Djarns and Black Talk
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In this chapter, I examine two of Blair's short films, The Djarn Djarns (2004) and Black Talk (2002). I will discuss the ways in which these films foreground Aboriginal culture, In this chapter, I examine two of Blair's short films, The Djarn Djarns (2004) and Black Talk (2002). I will discuss the ways in which these films foreground Aboriginal culture, values, and practices. I argue that Indigenous short film as a genre in its own right; it is a medium that uses very specific temporal and spatial strategies to tell stories about colonial history. Although some of these stories are often narrativised through a contemporary lens, they often bear traces of the manifold expressions of Aboriginality, through traditional, urban and rural settings. In noting the constraints of genre as an organizing principle for the production and reception of texts, I also consider the pitfalls of generic categorization. In my analysis of Blair's short films, I will consider his use of humour as powerful tool for interpellating viewers. I have noted in my teaching that humour can function to alienate viewers and to produce resistance, but if deployed effectively, it can promote the development of a critical anti-racist praxis for teaching and learning. I will exemplify this by drawing comparison between the use of mockery as applied in reversal narratives such as the 1986 short film Babakiueria (dir. Don Featherstone), and its more subtle and effective application in Blair's films.
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