“See another Side of Film” is a slogan for this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival（MIFF). The Melbourne International Film Festival began in 1952 and is one of the oldest film festivals in the world. It is held in the CBD of Melbourne every winter and is an excellent event for the people of Melbourne and Australia. What is most valuable is that the festival has been dedicated to promoting the development of local Australian films and is the exchange and interaction between the Australian film industry and the world. This year, MIFF also launched 22 local Australian films, nine of which are world premieres, including the documentary about Kimberley: UNDERMINED: TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEY.
Located in Western Australia, Kimberley covers the entire southwest corner of Australia and is considered one of the last wilds of the world. Less than 40,000 people have more than 200 communities and the highest proportion of Australian aborigines. The Australian government has high hopes for the minerals and rural areas here, hoping to contribute to Australia’s economic development. However, this documentary tells the question about the homeland, about culture, and the occupants. The famous director Nicholas Wrathall directs the film, and through the interviews with traditional heirs and landowners, the issue of the real cost of Kimberley is raised. The economic development and the demise of culture, the traditional perception and the modern consciousness, these factors blend in this wilderness, where should the government and residents choose?
The film is supported by the MIFF Premiere Fund with themed tags: Environmental, Activism, Conversation Starters, Indigenous, Law, Political, and Social Justice. The film’s interviewer, Albert Wiggan, performed a musical performance at the premiere, giving the audience a more intuitive exposure to Kimberley’s culture. At the same time, the film festival organisation also arranged on-site Q&A sessions for directors and producers and audiences. This is probably one of the most critical aspects of the festival: not just movies, not just the entertainment industry, but the deeper cultural and social issues. In the film classification, there is no doubt that the documentary is a niche industry, with the least entertaining, but often both serious and profound. However, the documentary is indeed one of the most realistic cultural products that reflect the status quo and problems of the society. It has both images and sounds. It is the audience’s more intuitive and concrete feeling of the emotions and motives of the producers and artists. The festival provides a broader platform for documentaries, and the documentary also reinforces the cultural capital of the festival.
Back to the slogan of this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, what is the other side of the film? Probably the next stage of cultural industry development, artistic interpretation of society. These films portray the understanding of the artist，and stimulate the passion of cineaste and the public. Therefore, when the film explores the unknown side of the society or raises the problem of non-surface, it also shows the other side of the country and triggers the audience’s thinking. This will not be a bad thing.
MIFF. (2018). UNDERMINED: TALES FROM THE KIMBERLEY. Retrieved from http://miff.com.au/program/film/undermined-tales-from-the-kimberley
City of Melbourne. (2018). Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF). Retrieved from https://whatson.melbourne.vic.gov.au/Whatson/Films/FilmFestivals/Pages/d85bb10a-bb90-499b-89f5-a1f74ff36d4d.aspx
Tourism Australia. (2018). Guide to the Kimberley. Retrieved from https://www.australia.com/en/places/broome-and-surrounds/guide-to-the-kimberley.html