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We Don't Need a Map (15*)

Part of Homeland

Harry Jagamarra Nelson (L) & Robin Japanangka Granites

Warwick Thornton considers the spiritual meaning of the Southern Cross constellation for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this provocative documentary.

The Southern Cross constellation is one of the most familiar symbols in Australia, which has been claimed and appropriated by many groups, including racist nationalists, since colonisation. For Indigenous Australian people, it is a symbol with profound resonance. In this scorching essay film, Warwick Thornton (Samson and Delilah, Sweet Country) explores the cultural roots of the constellation and its position in Australian culture.

The film, edited from over 70 hours of footage, is infused with a punk spirit. Thornton is certainly unafraid of provocation – a couple of years before the film he stated that ‘the Southern Cross was becoming the new swastika’. Told through his often bawdy style, this is a passionate and fearless film that, in the words of the director, asks ‘who we are and where we are going’.

Australia 2017 Dir Warwick Thornton 87 min

Please note, this film contains names, images or voices of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This film contains scenes viewers may find distressing.

Homeland: Films by Australian First Nations directors is supported by the Australian Government as part of the UK/Australia Season 2021-22.

Curated by the Barbican in partnership with Screen Australia. With thanks to Penny Smallacombe and Savannah Glynn-Braun (First Nations Department, Screen Australia).

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