At an auction of Aboriginal artefacts a white woman buys the painting of a fish and a Mimi sculpture. Mimis are stick-like spirits which live in rock cracks.

Shortly after bringing them home she discovers that the painting of the fish has changed into a painting of a fishbone.

Other strange things happen. Someone smears red ochre on her walls and when she opens her fridge she finds the Mimi alive and talking to her. She manages to grab her and lock her into a cupboard.

Scared and bewildered she calls in an urban 'weird Aborigine' but when he sees the Mimi he's as scared as her. He calls his mate in the bush and they negotiate that he will get rid of the Mimi if he gets her delivered together with the fridge.

The urban Aboriginal man dresses up traditionally, smokes the Mimi and manages to lock her into the fridge. The bush mate releases the Mimi into her country.

Mimi is a hilarious film rich of stereotypes for both black and white characters. The best medicine if you're tired of too much Aboriginal drama.


David Gulpilil - bush Aborigine
Sophie Lee - white woman
Aaron Pedersen - urban Aborigine
Release dates
2002 - Australia
M - Mature

Warwick shot Mimi in consultation with elders and the keepers of the traditional stories of the Mimi at Maningrida.

Warwick calls what modern Aboriginal men pretend to know about traditional culture 'sexually transmitted cultural knowledge'.

More films by Warwick Thornton:

- Photographic Memory: A Portrait of Mervyn Bishop (1999)

- Country Song (2008)

- Yeperenye Federation Festival: The Road Ahead Concert (2003)

- Rosalie's Journey (2003)

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Mimi, <>, retrieved 8 July 2020

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