In the Heart of Australia, one of the harshest places on the planet, surrounded by breathtaking mountain ranges, the town of Alice Springs has become a haven for lesbians, a place where black and white women mix and mingle, confronting the challenges of loving across racial and cultural gaps.
Through the expert guidance of Destiny Attenborough, an Aboriginal mock anthropologist styled after the famed naturalist, this often hilarious film provides glimpses into the world of women who love women in Alice Springs, while Aboriginal lesbians provide insight on how they make, break and sustain love across racial and cultural gaps in a town like Alice. With a satirical and comedic eye, we explore the fascinating lives of some of these women.
25 minute documentary
National Indigenous Documentary Fund
Writer/Director: Sonja Dare
November 11th, 1983, two hundred Aboriginal women led five hundred white women to the gates of Pine Gap, a top secret U.S. military facility just outside of Alice. This display of unity towards defending the Earth was the beginning of the settlement of lesbian culture in the town as many of the participants in the protests were lesbians who came, saw and decided to stay.
So began the saga of lesbians in Alice, a mixing of black and white for common ground. Now more than two decades later, we take a look at how the lesbians in Alice are doing.
Are there still plenty of women who love women here?
What are the identifying traits?
Our exploration begins with and is guided by the humorous character of Destiny Attenborough who sees but is not seen by the women appearing in the film. She offers us a look at the larger non-indigenous lesbian community while poking fun at the stereotypes.
Against the backdrop of the breathtaking scenery of outback Australia, still one of the harshest places on the planet, three Aboriginal lesbians talk about their relationships and families and how both are affected by the cultural differences.
DVD available from Ronin Films.
Special thanks to the Lesbian community of Alice Springs for their generous and good humoured participation in this film.
Destiny Attenborough - Trisha Morton-Thomas
Writer and Director - Sonja Dare
Producer - James Bradley
Executive Producer - Rachel Clements
Director of Photography - Joanne Parker
Editors - Dena Curtis and James Bradley
Composer - Peter Kaldor
Sound Recordist - Bella Kenworthy
Production Co-ordinator - Rebecca Crossley
Sound Post Production - David White, 2 Dogs Post
Online & Colour Grade - Ryan Boucher, 2 Dogs Post
Production Managers - Barbara Clifford, Brian Scarce
Camera Attachment - Gemma Parker
Production Assistant - Lilian Tulloch
Producer’s Assistant - Cathy Li
Assistant Editor - Keith Skinner
Additional Camera & Sound - Robyn Nardoo
Titles & Graphics Design - Sonja Dare
Archival Footage - Australian Film Television & Radio School
Transcripts - Kerrie McGovern, Clever Types
Legals - Shaun Miller, Marshalls & Dent Lawyers
Insurances - Brian Holland, Holland Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd
Accountants - Naree Tilmouth and Sergei Jansons
Special Thanks to:
The Traditional Owners of Alice Springs
CAAMA Board & Staff
Alice Springs Town Council
Papunya Tula Gallery
Voyages Alice Springs Resort
All Seasons Oasis
Bar Doppio Cafe
Alice Springs Taxis
Arid Lands Environment Centre
Bowerbird – Alice Springs Tip Shop
Parks and Wildlife Commission of the NT
Alice Springs Telegraph Station
Northern Territory AIDS and Hepatitis Council
Paul Henness, NT Film Office
Phil Walcott, Rainbow Connection
Thanks for appearing:
Not every woman appearing in this film is a lesbian!
Desert Rose Connolly
Amy van Haaren
“Singing for Our Lives”
Words and Music by Holly Near,
published Hereford Music
(ASCAP) © 1979.
Supervising Producer Catherine Marciniak
Produced in association with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Developed and produced in association with the Indigenous Branch of the Australian Film Commission
Principal Investor Film Finance Australia
Awards and Screenings
2007 Screened at Message Sticks Festival
2007 Opening night at Sydney Queer Screen
2008 Pacific international Documentary Film Festival (FIFO 2008)
2008 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival Canada.