DVD - 2014
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Utopia is an epic production by the Emmy and Bafta winning film-maker and journalist John Pilger. Utopia is a vast region in northern Australia and home to the oldest human presence on earth. 'This film is a journey into that secret country,' says John Pilger in Utopia. 'It will describe not only the uniqueness of the first Australians, but their trail of tears and betrayal and resistance - from one utopia to another'. Pilger begins his journey in Sydney, where he grew up, and in Canberra, the nation's capital, where the national parliament rises in an affluent suburb called Barton, recently awarded the title of Australia's most advantaged community. Barton is named after Edmund Barton, the first prime minister of Australia, who in 1901 introduced the White Australia Policy. 'The doctrine of the equality of man,' said Barton, 'was never intended to apply to those who weren't British and white-skinned.' He made no mention of the original inhabitants who were deemed barely human, unworthy of recognition in the first suburban utopia. A global campaign illuminated apartheid in South Africa. No such opprobrium has been directed at Australia, where black Australians are imprisoned at up to eight times the rate of blacks in apartheid South Africa. Instead, Australia's post card image is that of the 'lucky country'; and indeed few societies are as wealthy, if you leave out the original inhabitants is that of a third world country. In the town of Wilcannia, New South Wales, the average life expectancy of men is 37. This is the secret of apartheid Australia. Utopia is both a personal journey and universal story of power and resistance and how modern societies can be divided between those who conform and a dystopian world of those who do not. Utopia draws on people and places Pilger filmed 28 years ago during his long association with the indigenous people of his homeland. The evidence he produces is often deeply moving and shocking.
Publisher: [Oley, Pa.] :, Bullfrog Films,, [2014]
ISBN: 9781941545089
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (112, 280 min.) : sound, color with black and white sequences ; 4 3/4 in. + 1 booklet (8 pages : illustrations ; 18 cm)
4 3/4 in.,stamping,rda
video file,DVD video,region 1,rda


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May 15, 2017

This is an informative documentary about the abuse of indigenous people of Australia and their struggle for civil rights, from colonial times to the present. If anything, the whole process has been crueler and more heavy-handed than Canada's -- which isn't saying a lot for us. If you are interested in issues surrounding the cultural adaptations by and exploitation of indigenous people's generally, this film will help you see that the issues are worldwide and not just factors of North American history. (I've never seen a movie featuring Australia's indigenous people that couldn't have been adapted easily to Canada). One small annoyance is the film is that the narrator seems to be a tabloid journalist (with his heart in the right place though), interrupting powerful people who give him interviews, before they can answer his questions. That being said, one gets the sense that he's heard their doublespeak many times before. Utopia is a heartbreaker, but well worth watching for anyone with an interest in culture, history, and first nations issues, who likes a good documentary, or simply wants to be well informed.

d2013 Jan 07, 2017

Shocking yet powerful. Worth viewing!

Oct 22, 2016

As documentaries go, simply remarkable.


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