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Ten Canoes (R2) in September

Universal Pictures have announced the UK Region 2 DVD release of Ten Canoes on 24th September 2007 priced at £15.99. Thousands of years before the British journeyed to Australia, native tribes roamed the land, hunted for food and in goose-egg gathering season, gathered goose eggs. Directed by Rolf de Heer, Ten Canoes, the first full-length feature film made entirely in indigenous Australian languages, captures the adventure, the mystery and the drama of a magical and ancient, tribal world.

We enter the tribal world as 10 select tribesmen are setting out into the heart of the forest on an important mission during the annual goose egg gathering season. Led by the wise, old Minygululu, they head out to gather bark for their canoes, essential vehicles in their water based communities. In the midst of the bonding and secret sharing that accompanies such a mission, Minygululu learns that his younger and unmarried brother, Dayindi, harbors a forbidden love for his third and youngest wife. To teach Dayindi why this love can never be realized, Minygululu delves deep into the past and tells a salutary story of another man who coveted his brother’s wife.

The story takes us into the mythical past and a world of warring tribes, sorcery, misunderstandings and plenty of bawdy humour. A stranger selling magic potions and trinkets visits the camp where Ridjimiraril dwells. Minygululu relates the disappearance of Ridjimiraril’s jealous second wife Nowalingu which follows hard on the heels of this visit. Convinced the mysterious stranger has snatched her away and following a supposed sighting of Nowalingu in a distant camp, the tension mounts as a war party sets off. But no trace of Ridjimiraril’s wife is found.

The drama heightens and the intrigue deepens as, back in the single men’s camp, Yeeralparil, Ridjimiraril’s young lonely brother, yearns for his brother’s beautiful young wife Munanadjarra, despite being all too aware that he cannot have her. With the reappearance of the stranger in the bush, matters reach a head as Ridjimiraril sets out with spear in hand and brother in tow to take his revenge.

Ritual and justice go hand in hand as Minygululu narrates the dramatic finale to his rich and beguiling tale. There are lessons to be learnt for all.

On DVD the film is presented in anamorphic widescreen with 2.0 Stereo, optional 5.1 Surround and English/English HOH subtitles. There are no announced extras.

© 2006 Film Finance Corporation Australia Limited, South Australian Film Corporation, Adelaide Film Festival, Fandango Australia Pty Ltd and Special Broadcasting Service Corporation.
Artwork © 2007 Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

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