Aussie Tale

Ten Canoes tells an age-old story.

Many, many years ago, after the waters of the great flood covered the whole land and then receded, there lived a man named Ridjimiraril in the place we now call the Northern Territory in Australia. He lived there with his three wives — one wise, one jealous and one beautiful. His younger brother, Yeeralparil, desired Ridjimiraril's lovely wife...until a Stranger entered the scene and changed everything.

When an Aboriginal tribe goes goose-egg hunting a thousand years ago in the film Ten Canoes, this is the story told to the hunters by the elder Minygululu. The tale-within-a-tale involves unrequited love — "wrong love" — spears and too many wives. It's a cautionary fable from a world before white men arrived to change the natives' lives forever. The characters in Ten Canoes speak entirely in Aboriginal language, and the film itself moves from dream-like colors to pristine black and white as Minygululu weaves his words to teach a lesson and warn against the trouble that can be caused by coveting thy neighbor's wife.

Ten Canoes screens tonight and tomorrow night at 7 and 9 p.m. in Muenzinger Auditorium on the University of Colorado at Boulder campus as part of the International Film Series. Admission is $5, or $4 for CU-Boulder students with IDs; punch cards are also available. Visit www.internationalfilmseries.com or call 303-492-1531 for information.
Sept. 21-22, 7 & 9 p.m., 2007

 
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