S5: Message From Mungo Presented by Byron Bay International Film Festival

March 7, 2015 @ 5:30 am – 7:30 am
Byron Theatre
69 Jonson Street
Byron Bay NSW 2481
Full: $12

message from mungo

Join the filmmakers behind these special stories as some of these films get screened for the very first time. A session that reflects on the past and looks towards an empowered future fuelled by hope and determination.

Films include:

The Kinchela Boys
World Premiere
A heartrending story The Kinchela Boys explores the lives of some Indigenous Australian men who were wrenched from their families and placed in reformatory schools. Through a series of interviews, some of the remaining Kinchela Boys tell their stories of pain and hopelessness and abuse. ‘The Kinchela Boys’ recounts the stories of men who were victims of things that no child/person should ever have to see.

Our Pain
Australian Premiere ‘
Our Pain’ is a music video for the talented musician Mark Ferris. The song is based on a poem by an indigenous gentleman named Crow.

Looking After Our Past, Present and Future
World Premiere
Two wise women and a secret site combine to protect cultural and biological diversity against the expansion of coal seam gas mining in the Pilliga forest.

Babe in the reeds: a story of massacres and resilience
World Premiere
This tale very intimately shares the brutal, mostly untold history of what happened to the Nyangbul people of the NSW North Coast. Lois becomes a history detective tracking down people and documents to see if the family’s oral history is supported by other accounts from the 19th century. With the help of the staff of Ballina Library she discovers commentary by settlers and historians who were compelled to record the brutality against the local Indigenous people.

Message From Mungo
NSW Premiere
The Mungo story is as old as time itself. It is a complex story made up of many journeys, lives, memories and interpretation. It is a story that will continue for millennium ahead. Mungo is importantly, a story about people, relationships, aspirations and passion.

Lake Mungo is an ancient lake bed and one of the world’s richest archaeological sites. The film focuses on the troubled interface between the scientists and the Indigenous communities who identify with the land and with the human remains revealed at the site. But within the conflict and its gradual resolution lies a moving story of empowerment of the traditional custodians of the area.

The story focuses on one particular archaeological find – the human remains known generally as “Mungo Lady”. In 1968, scientist Jim Bowler came across some unusual materials exposed by erosion. Archaeologist Rhys Jones soon identified these as the remains of a young woman who had been given a formal ritual of cremation. Other scientists confirmed that they were the remains of a young woman who had been given a formal ritual of cremation. The remains were the subject of international academic excitement and debate: claims were made that the remains were as much as 40,000 years old or even older. Lake Mungo became recognised as an archaeological site of world importance.

Through the 1970s and 80s, led by three remarkable Aboriginal women – Alice Kelly, Tibby Briar and Alice Bugmy – and encouraged by archaeologist Isabel McBryde, Aboriginal groups associated with Mungo began to question the work of the scientific community, and became increasingly involved in the management of archaeological work. In 1992, after much pressure from Indigenous groups, the remains of Mungo Lady were handed back to the Indigenous custodians. This hand-back ceremony was a turning point in the relationship between scientists and the local tribal groups.