Constructed around one of the most extraordinary pieces of footage in Australian history; the moment when a group of Martu women and children walk in from their nomadic existence of millennia into the universe of European modernity. Centers on Yuwali, the beautiful 17-year old girl we see making that giant leap on the 24th of September 1964. Now 62, Yuwali's account of the 'first contact' experience is probably the fullest and most revealing ever caught on film and sits alongside the colourful official reports of the patrol. Her group of twenty were the last remnant aboriginal mob still living traditionally, without any contact or knowledge of modern Australia, in the remote Great Sandy Desert. A huge space rocket test (Blue Streak) was to be fired in May 1964 at their home in the dry Percival Lakes. The authorities sent in patrol officers to evacuate anyone living there to protect them from rocket debris. The days counting down to blast off drive the narrative of the film. Back at the Lakes, Yuwali gives a riveting account as she and her group are chased hundreds of kilometers around the desert trying to escape the 'devilmen' in the 'rocks that move' (four wheel drives). Includes film footage of the 1964 contact with Yuwali's group and movie archive authentic to this story. The footage in the desert was filmed by the lead patrol officer, Walter MacDougall and all the footage of the rockets are the actual Blue Streak rockets that were fired.
Based on the book 'Cleared out : first contact in the Western Desert' by Sue Davenport, Peter Johnson & Yuwali.
Downloadable study guide available.
Also available online via Kanopy streaming video.
Dialogue in English and Martu, with English subtitles.
Credits: Produced and directed by Martin Butler and Bently Dean.
Music Publisher No.: CON 0002-36BD
Libraries Australia ID: 54295919
Other Creators: Butler, Martin. Dean, Bentley. Davenport, Sue. Cleared out. ARTE France. Contact Films. Screen Australia. Kanopy (Firm)
Technical Details: DVD, PAL format ; Region 0.
1 videodisc (78 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in.
Museum Call Number
Woomera Rocket Range -- History.
Guided missiles -- South Australia -- Woomera -- Testing.
Aboriginal Australians -- Western Australia -- Western Desert -- Government relations.
Aboriginal Australians -- Western Australia -- Western Desert.
Woomera (S. Aust.) -- History.
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