The MacDougall Tapes
Renowned Australian Documentary Filmmakers David and Judith MacDougall

Ronin Films
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2 videos in this playlist

The Conversation with David MacDougall
These extended conversations with David and Judith MacDougall represent an invaluable archival record and convey a wealth of ideas and information relating to their experiences as a highly influential ethnographic…
The Conversation with Judith MacDougall
These extended conversations with David and Judith MacDougall represent an invaluable archival record and convey a wealth of ideas and information relating to their experiences as a highly influential ethnographic…

Related videos

A Transfer Of Power
This observational documentary follows an episode in the routine life on Collum Collum cattle-station in northern New South Wales. But, as the filmmaker notes, it's a story that could have occurred anywhere. The film follows the attempts by Sunny Bancroft and other men in the Collum Collum Aboriginal community to…
Sunny and the Dark Horse
The story of an Aboriginal stockman and his family and their growing passion for "picnic racing" on bush tracks in New South Wales. SUNNY AND THE DARK HORSE was filmed at Collum Collum, an Aboriginal-operated cattle station in north-eastern New South Wales. The film follows the Aboriginal manager of the…
Takeover
One of the major works produced by the AIAS Film Unit, this documentary observes the profound effect on an Aboriginal community of political and bureaucratic decisions made far away. Although specific to time and place, the film is timeless and universal in its observations of a conflict between an Indigenous…
Familiar Places
Narrated by the linguist and anthropologist Peter Sutton, this documentary observes his work with a family in far north Queensland, outside Aurukun, to map their hereditary "clan country". The aim of the older members of the family is partly to protect their land and prove their attachment to it, for…
Stockman's Strategy
Constructed as a series of vignettes of station life, the film focuses particularly on the relationship between Sunny Bancroft, the station manager, and a 16-year-old trainee, Shane Gordon. The episodes are linked by Sunny's reflections on learning the hard way from experience, and from the lessons taught him by his…
Collum Calling Canberra
Gordon Smith, head of the Collum Collum Aboriginal Co-operative which operates a cattle station in northern New South Wales, and Sunny Bancroft, the station manager, are negotiating with the Aboriginal Development Corporation in Canberra for a loan. Finance is needed to stock the property with breeding cattle so that the…
Western Desert Woomera
This remarkable film documents the making of a spear-thrower or woomera by two Pintupi men from the Western Desert cultural group who live in the Lake McDonald area in the central west of the Northern Territory. The two men use stone tools, demonstrating techniques which are becoming rare in this…
Three Horsemen
THREE HORSEMEN is one of several films that the MacDougalls made in and around Aurukun in the far north of Queensland. It is a deeply moving portrait of three generations of Aboriginal stockmen at Ti-Tree station, 80km south of Aurukun, a former cattle out-station of Aurukun Mission and now a…
Link-Up Diary
Link-Up Diary explores the consequences of the New South Wales government's long-term practice of taking Aboriginal children away from their parents and raising them in "white" environments. The film takes the form of a personal journey by the filmmaker, David MacDougall, as he spends a week on the road with…
Good-Bye Old Man
At the request of a dying Tiwi man and his family on Melville Island, this film was made of the pukumani (bereavement) ceremony to follow his death. The film observes the family through the long period of preparation for the ceremony, following age-old traditions. Dancing and face-painting are rehearsed, to…
To Get That Country
Without narration, and without identification of individual speakers, the film provides an invaluable record of two events which occurred in the final week of January 1977, and which marked "a turning point in legal recognition of Aboriginal rights to land". The film documents discussions among traditional owners and white officials…
Waiting for Harry
"Probably the best film I've ever seen about Aboriginal ritual and ceremony, because it's not simply a record of the ritual itself, but it's actually about the politics that underlie the staging of the ritual". - David MacDougall. "Highly recommended for viewing by high school, undergraduate, and graduate students as…