88 is an illuminating documentary charting the historic union of Aboriginal people who in 1988 came in convoy to Sydney from around the country to protest against Australia Day.
They staged the March for Freedom, Hope and Justice through the city’s streets, and then gathered in Hyde Park to demand the recognition of their history.
The documentary features some colourful animation and well-chosen archival footage and photographs, but 88 primarily relies on interviews with people who participated in the demonstration. Their accounts evoke the event’s spirit and significance so vividly and seamlessly that the film needs no narration.
There are reflections on the motivations to participate. There are memories of how the epic journeys unfolded: on buses with hard bench seats and without air-conditioning or seat belts; with thoughtful planning that included cooks and mechanics.
There’s talk of how different communities welcomed the convoys and of the trepidation of arriving in Sydney. There are accounts of dreams, dramas, differences of opinion and even a death along the way.
Finally, there’s the powerful recall of what it meant to participate in the event and discussion of its significance, as well as an assessment of its impact in the short term and beyond.
That day was, to me, the true beginning of reconciliation as we'd never seen it before.—Dr Anne Pattel-Gray
- Release dates
- 2014 - First shown on ABC1 on 30 January 2014
- Video/DVD release date
- 6 August 2014
- G - general
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