Oneland Dharrmbungi Marrangigi

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In a land deeply divided over First Nations’ rights, where people are burdened by the scars of racial injustices, past and present, a ray of hope for reconciliation emerges through art, sport and education.

The Indigenous people of Australia are one of the oldest living cultures in the world. They have been peaceful custodians of the land for over 120,000 years.

This documentary follows a sport’s team of teenagers who, although they have lived in Australia their whole lives and may have travelled the world, have never before met an Australian Aboriginal person.

4am they venture in a minibus on a 900 mile road trip from Sydney into the vast remote heartland of their country, where they are welcomed into a community of Indigenous Australians to learn about their rich culture and history.

What begins as a physical journey, swiftly and poetically becomes a poignant and at times even spiritual journey of connection between peoples, cultures and the one land they all call home.

This documentary is a story of Dharrmbungi Marrangigi, learning together.

The children are welcomed by the Ngemba, Murrawarri, Kamillaroi, Barkanji, Baranbinja, Weilwan and Ualiai children to play sport together, cook at the campfires, and learn about the history and culture of these First Nations people.

One of the Ngemba schoolchildren welcomes the visitors in her traditional language

They meet Elders and learn about their Traditional Lore and the more recent brutal history of the past 155 years.

The Ngemba people are river people. 60,000 years ago their ancestors engineered a complex series of rocks forming fish traps in the Darling River. These traps have been maintained over the tens of thousands of years and continue to be used today – the city girls are invited to try to catch a fish by hand.

The children plan, spontaneously among themselves, to meet again for the charity Color Run in Sydney each year.

Two months later they reunite in Sydney and run together as one team.

ONELAND shows two cultures coming together, forming a new future for Australia, one of respect.

The film is raw, honest and symbolic – it speaks to a global issue that challenges people everywhere today.

Directed by Susie Agoston (Australia)

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