Initiated Warlpiri man, Steve Jampijinpa Patrick has been the creative director for the last seven years of the powerful Milpirri event, performed by the Warlpiri people of Lajamanu, a community on the edge of the Tanami Desert in the Northern Territory.
Jampijinpa and collaborators Tracks Dance have been central to the performance, a bi-cultural, biennial music, dance and cultural event celebrating Warlpiri culture in a modern context. Milpirri reminds us all that to find our way 'back home', we need to listen to ngurra, 'home' – the country we share. Milpirri seeks to retell traditional Warlpiri stories in the context of a modern celebration and modern community living.
But Jampijinpa is leaving for a new challenge in Canberra and in his absence the community and Tracks Dance will need to take on the enormous responsibility required to stage this ambitious biennial event without him.
Jampijinpa returns home later in the year to find a community that has transformed its relationship to Milpirri and forged a new path for its future.
The film is not just a record of the community activities leading up to Milpirri; it is also an exploration of life today for the people of Lajamanu. As we watch the community preparations leading to the performance of Milpirri we also see something of the challenges and struggles facing many Aboriginal people today to retain, strengthen and celebrate their culture and way of life, much of which has been disrupted and damaged since invasion.
Things are changing for Steve and his community. This documentary reveals what goes on behind the scenes of a controversial and ground-breaking Walpiri event.
- Release dates
- 29 June 2014 - Australia
- PG - Parental guidance
Milpirri are literally the huge clouds that form over the Tanami Desert just before the rainy season, bringing rain from the collision of the hot air from the land and the cold air from above; the meeting of opposites.
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