Black and Dusty (2005)

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“You must be crazy!”

A documentary about the Indigenous participants of the 2005 Tattersalls’ Finke Desert Race.

The Finke Desert Race tests both the body and the mind in putting the contestants through a gruelling race from Alice Springs to the community of Finke 229 km away. The contestants stay overnight and then do the return trip the next day. The race itself may seem innocuous, but the older participants speak of inspiring younger people to get involved in something and life itself.

42 minute documentary
Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series 18
Written and Directed by Vance Glynn
Languages: English, Southern Arrernte and Luritja.

For two days competitors battle it out in one of the toughest motor races in the world. It’s over 500km on a red dirt track through drought stricken country consisting of a round trip from Alice Springs to the Aboriginal Community Finke.

Now in its 30th year, the Tattersalls’ Finke Desert Race has become renowned for its tough track and competitors nationally and internationally congregate in Alice Springs in July each year for the challenge.

Aboriginal people have raced in the Finke since its inception 30 years ago.

Black and Dusty follows five competitors as they prepare for the 2005 Finke Desert race, the race days and post race for three of the competitors it is their first time in the race.

DVD available from Ronin Films.

Further clips and teachers notes are available from Australian Screen. If you intend to use this film in the classroom please purchase an educational copy from Ronin Films.

Fulfilling a lifelong dream three local 30-something amateur riders, Warwick Thornton, Steven Tranter and Willy Orr will be riding their motorbikes in the race.

Steven is aiming to finish in the top twenty; Willy’s riding his quad, Warwick just wants to make it through day one.

Bernard and Jamie are outback community riders from Ernabella and Erldunda. They will be competing in the buggies.

This is Bernard’s fifth year and he practices racing by hunting kangaroos in his buggy at home.

This is the first motor sports film to be told from an Aboriginal perspective.

It is hard hitting and explores the intricacies of life, love and loss through the eyes of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.

Black and Dusty Media Release


Warwick Thornton, Steven Tranter, Willie Orr, Bernard Singer and Jamie Nyaningu


Writer/Director - Vance Glynn
Producer - Rachel Clements
Cinematographer - Colin Richards
Sound recordist - Vance Glynn
Editor - Dena Curtis
Music by - Jagit

The Soundtrack: Jagit's '9 to 5'

Jagit’s musical style could best be described as alternative rock combining elements of grunge, punk and a hip R&B groove to produce a new and unique sound.

Black and Dusty features music from Jagit’s debut album “9 to 5″.