1980 / 45 minutes

Directed by
Judith MacDougall
Country of production
Australia United States

When Geraldine Kawanka’s husband died, she and her children left their house at Aurukun on Cape York Peninsula. In earlier times a bark house would have been burnt, but today a ‘house-opening’ ceremony — creatively mingling Aboriginal, Torres Strait and European elements — has evolved to deal with death in the midst of new living patterns. Although sometimes suggesting a party, its underlying purpose is serious. This film records the opening of the house and Geraldine’s feelings about it in her informative and personal commentary.

Language and subtitles
English (no subtitles)
Ritual Indigenous peoples / First Nations peoples Death

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