The Old Man and the Inland Sea
This beautiful documentary is a character study of an old man named Norman Hayes Jagamarra who gave up droving and came to Coober Pedy decades ago to work as an opal-miner.
Norman is a “noodler” – someone who sifts through the mining scrap-heaps looking for remnant opals among the rubble. Although Norman qualifies for the old-age pension, he’d rather not take the “sit-down money” and prefers to keep noodling and be self-sufficient.
Norman’s reminiscences reveal his dignity and pride in his work. He reflects on his years in the Coober Pedy area, about the devastating impact of the introduction of alcohol and the social dislocation that followed for many Aboriginal people. He also talks about the greed that disrupted the life on the diggings.
The stark, barren landscapes around Coober Pedy are stunningly photographed. Thornton went on to achieve international recognition in 2009 for his first feature, Samson and Delilah.
Norman’s story is backed by a superb original music score by the Dirty Three.
- Norman Hayes Jagamarra – himself
- Release dates
- 2005 - Australia
- PG - Parental guidance
- Ronin Films
- Dirty Three
English and English subtitles
Watch now or find a DVD/BlueRay copy
- Try also
- National Library of Australia,
- SBS on Demand
Browse a list of Aboriginal film suppliers and distributors
Other films by Warwick Thornton
- 1996Pay Back
- 2003Rosalie's Journey
- 2005Green Bush
- 2007Tnorala – Baby Falling
- 2008Dark Science
- 2009Samson & Delilah
- 2010Art + Soul
- 2013The Turning: Big World
- 2013The Darkside
- 2017We Don't Need A Map
- 2017Sweet Country
- 2019The Beach
- 2020Mystery Road (TV series, Season 2)
- 2023The New Boy
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