Mr. Strehlow's Films


    T.G.H. (Theodor George Henry, or Ted) Strehlow was one of Australia's most eminent and controversial anthropologists. This fascinating documentary traces his life from his childhood at Hermannsburg (NT) as the son of Lutheran missionaries, to his days as a patrol officer and translator in Central Australia, and to his death in 1978.

    Growing up on the mission with Aboriginal people in the early 1900s, Ted Strehlow spoke the Arrernte language fluently.

    In later years, he became driven by a profound desire to preserve Aboriginal language and culture. His anthropological work resulted in the establishment of the Strehlow Institute near Alice Springs which exhibits the full extent of his documentary legacy. The film and sound recordings he made of Aboriginal cultural practices are among the most extensive of any ethnographic filmmaker this century.

    This extraordinary archive became the subject of much controversy. While giving you a glimpse of the unrestricted material in this collection, Mr Strehlow's Films explores some of the complex issues surrounding ownership and access through a range of interviews with historians, museum curators and filmmakers, as well as Aboriginal people directly connected to the Strehlow legacy.

    Strehlow's recording of sacred rituals involving Aboriginal men and youth has resulted in complex questions regarding the use, distribution and legitimacy of such material. In addressing such questions, Mr Strehlow's Films illuminates the changing relationship between non-Aboriginal and Aboriginal people. The images from the documentary also present astounding records of desert life in Australia in the early part of the 20th century.

    Watch Mr Strehlow's Films


    Peter Sumner - Narrator
    Neville Peterson - voice of TGH Strehlow
    Belinda Tucker - voice of Christina
    Melvin Malbunka - Hesekiel
    Release dates
    2001 - DVD
    2019 - Re-release on DVD
    Video/DVD release date
    2001, 2019
    G - general
    Ronin Films
    Richard Vella

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    Cite this page

    Korff, J 2019, Mr. Strehlow's Films, <>, retrieved 16 June 2024

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