The significance of a film festival is that it screens movies that not merely for commercial purpose but try to arouse some profound thinking culturally or socially behind the lens, and this is what makes film festival glamourous and unique. After attending the film premiere of Undermined: tales from the Kimberley, I have got more than expected.
Undermined: Tales from the Kimberley is a documentary focus on the real investigation of the world-famous Kimberley development by director Nicholas Wrathall. A large-scale mining and livestock development projects not only threaten the original environment there, but also threaten the sacred connection of more than 200 indigenous communities and their people to the country. The film then start to interview many local residents about their thought of government’s decision. The answers are always no to against changes in their hometown. It is not hard to see from the documentary that the indigenous people’s life in Kimberly is primitive. People who live in Kimberly are away from the bustling city and modern civilization. This perhaps is the reason why they can’t understand government consist to destroy the natural land which mainly aims to provide more resources to people who living in the city. In their perspective, Kimberly is hometown, they will never leave this place and will undoubtedly protect the natural resources forever.
For movies like Undermined: tales from Kimberly, its living space is not as big as a commercial movie in national film industry market, or in another word, it is hard for niche art films or documentaries to survive or make profits in such an era of rapid consumption film market. Therefore, this is what a good film festival should do to help this kind of movies to make a voice, to create an atmosphere to inspire more people pay attention to documentaries on the demand side. Acting as an educational tool, Undermined: tales from Kimberly which aims at attracting an attention of indigenous people’s living dilemma and arousing a discussion about the solutions. It exclusively speaks for a certain group – Australian indigenous people. A good film festival must support this kind of documentary and expand its influences among the people.
In my perspective, the MIFF here acts like a business card with various people from different cultural backgrounds gathered in a same festival. The film festival should be considered as a breakthrough window which screens movies have cultural implications to inspire people’s thinking and discussion. After the screening, my friends all tried to pay attention to Kimberly’s event on social media, and I think this maybe the influences and power which only can made by a film festival through creating a spectacle and paying respect on it.
MIFF information from Melbourne International Film Festival Official Website: http://miff.com.au/