Bungalung (2007)

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Around a campfire Two Anmatjere Elders, Patsy and Jane Briscoe, sing and tell the epic-dreaming story of two young men who are forced into action when a clan of demon Cannibals devour their entire tribe and kidnap the young men’s mother and sister. Alone and outnumbered the young men defy all odds as they defeat the demons and reclaim their women.

24 minute documentary
Nganampa Anwernekenhe Series 20

Director: Trisha Morton-Thomas
Language: Anmatjere

Bungalung is a spine tingling journey into the supernatural and paranormal aspect of Dreamtime story telling.
Supernatural and paranormal dreaming and bedtime stories were traditionally designed to psychologically control the behaviour and movement of Aboriginal children, ensuring that children never wandered too far from the safety of the camp during the day and remained close to the fires at night. They were also used to enhance the spiritual intuition of Aboriginal children, allowing them the skills to discern between right and wrong and to trust in their own gut feelings in regard to personal safety.

Throughout Australia, regardless of whether people have access to their language and culture, the tradition of telling these stories is still very much alive. Queensland still have the “Hairy Man”, Western Australia has the “Wild Woman”. Wherever you live in this country, mythical beings maintain their presence through oral traditions and are used to terrorize children.

The film uses special effects, lighting, shading and sound to enhance the traditional forms of oral narration, songs and dance in bringing the chilling story to life. Sisters Patsy and Janie Briscoe sit around a campfire on a moonlight night recounting the frightening story told to them by their father and grandfather.

In keeping with the Nganampa Anwernekenhe guidelines, this documentary is spoken entirely in Anmatjere and filmed on location in Anmatjere country.

The film is available from Ronin Films

Crew
Director: Trisha Morton-Thomas
Producer: Liz Warning
Editor: Dena Curtis
Cinematographer: Robyn Nardoo and Paul Costello

Screenings
2008 Garma Festival