Aussie Tale

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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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen