9th Nov 1996

Marn Grook – Football Dreaming (1996)

MARN GROOK explores the history, achievements and struggles of Aboriginal sportsmen involved in our National game, ‘Aussie Rules’.

Through perseverance, natural ability and a love for the game, Aboriginal players have been able to overcome the many barriers placed before them to gain recognition and respect for their prowess on the football field. MARN GROOK is a celebration of Australian Rules and the great contribution Aboriginal players have made to the game.

Year: 1996
Classification: G
Runtime: 45 min
Directed By: Steve McGregor
Language: English

Marn Grook - Football Dreaming (1996) from CAAMA on Vimeo.

“Marn Grook gives a good historical and political overview of the AFL and how Indigenous men have used AFL as a way of making a living, or as a political platform to fight for Indigenous rights. ‘Marn Grook’ is the Indigenous name of a game very similar to AFL or Australian Rules football, and it has been contended that the AFL game is in fact derived from Marn Grook.

“Some of the players and incidents covered in the film include Douglas Nicholls, an Indigenous VFL player who went on to be knighted by the Queen and receive the honour of the Governorship of South Australia, and Nicky Winmar, who became an icon for anti-racism when he famously bared his torso and pointed to his skin in retaliation to racist taunts from Collingwood supporters. The Aboriginal All Stars formed as a result of racism in AFL following the Collingwood incident.

“Marn Grook is a very informative documentary, and shows the skills and determination of many Indigenous football players who used sport as a way of overcoming adversity and challenging racism.”

Romaine Moreton, curator Australian Screen.

DVD available from Ronin Films.

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


Director - Steven McGregor
Writers - Steven McGregor, Shane Mulcahy, Kim Gleeson
Music - Warumpi Band, Archie Roach, Yothu Yindi