For too long, the perspectives of First Nations people have been left out of the history books and discarded for the white man’s narrative.
Hopefully, that’s set to change with new film High Ground, set to be released on a day rife with controversy: January 28th, 2021. A film two decades in the making, High Ground follows the story of young Aboriginal man Gutjuk, who in a bid to save the last of his family teams up with ex-soldier Travis to track down Baywara—the most dangerous warrior in the Territory, who is also his uncle. Set against the jaw-dropping beauty of 1930s Arnhem Land, the film is the collaborative efforts of director Stephen Maxwell Johnson and Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land and Kakadu National Park (all Traditional Owners of the land on which High Ground was filmed gave their blessing for the film and provided unprecedented access to country).
The film stars Simon Baker, Jack Thompson, Aaron Pedersen, Callan Mulvey, Ryan Corr and Caren Pistorius and newcomers Jacob Junior Nayinggul and Esmerelda Marimowa, along with producer and actor Witiyana Marika—a respected Rirratjingu (Yolngu) ceremonial leader who also served as Senior Cultural Advisor on the film, negotiating the nuanced and complex cultural elements and relationships between the different Indigenous clans who came together to work on different lands.
‘High Ground is a both-ways film, First Nations and Balanda,’ says Galarrwuy Yunupingu AM, Gumatj Leader. ‘It depicts a time of trouble in Australia; it honours our old heroes, reminds us of the past and the truth of our joint history in the country. I hope that this film can play an important role in Australia’s national conversation towards a First Nations Voice enshrined in the Constitution so that all our children will walk in both-worlds, never forgetting the past.
In short, the first trailer looks incredible and you should definitely keep your eyes peeled for screening details come January 2021. Check it out below.