Redfern Sydney Screening
SBS - Pilger says 'Utopia' long overdue - 20 January 2014
The film documents the state of black Australia today, raising issues such as failed health policies, deaths in custody and the intervention.
Mr Pilger was Inspired by the struggle and achievemnets of Aboriginal people in Australia and said the film was long overdue.
"In 2007 I was reminded that another [movie] was needed, and that was a response to one of the most savage attacks on Indigenous Australia, known as the intervention," he said.
Glenn Skuthorpe performed his song "No more whispering" which is featured in "Utopia". His music clip can be found on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz99vjEAlQc
Please click on one of the photos below to see a larger version:
John Pilger At UTOPIA Australian Premiere - 18 January 2014
Utopia, a new, epic film on Australia by John Pilger, had its Australian premiere at the Block in Redfern, Sydney on yesterday -Friday, 17 January.
It was a heart felt movie premiere without the usual glamor and screaming associated with red carpet appearances. Many family came with a picnic blanket and set themselves up comfortably on the grass. ...
Utopia' Premieres in Sydney (John Pilger): please click here
Australian Premiere of Utopia at The Block in Redfern: please click here
John Pilger presents Utopia: please click here
Radio 2RSR review of the premiere: please click here
... "This is not a forum for entertainment," Ms Kunoth-Monks said. "This forum is for our survival." ... "I don't think anyone would like to be living in the Northern Territory under the imposed conditions that Aboriginal people are," Ms Kunoth-Monks said....
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Utopia Elder - Koori Mail - 29 January 2014
... [John Pilger] also called Canberra the Utopia, the white Utopia, the Capital. And the contrast between Canberra where all the policy is made and then imposed on us; I thought it was poignant. And then you go to Ampiliwatja and Utopia and you see the abject poverty and it's not accidental, that's how we're being treated," she said. ...
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks said this was an "important film all Australians should see". "I believe it's the beginning of an awakening in Australia of the deception and the treatment of Aboriginal people by the government. It is the fact the White Australian policy and the absolute hatred in the last lot of policies, it comes from the government, not from the people of Australia. Let's unite and let's fight it," she said.
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks, Utopia Elder - NIT - 22 January 2014
... The film itself is obviously an epic in terms of the work of John Pilger. It's a film I believe targets the core of the challenges Aboriginal people face today in relation to issues such as dispossession, issues dealing with suicide, dealing with incarceration; the very issues Dumbartung deals with on a daily basis in terms of our work," he said. ... "It's a film for many generations to come will be absolutely pivotal in terms of awareness and creating a focus on the issues that are important to Aboriginal people," he said.
Robert Eggington, Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation - NIT - 22 January 2014
“This film is about heroes, it is not about victims”, said Pilger, on Friday night. “It is about struggle and resistance.” He acknowledged that it probably wouldn’t tell the audience at the Block much they didn’t know already, but claimed that: “It will tell the majority of Australians many things they don’t know.” He said non-Indigenous Australians would remain “bystanders in their own country” until they “sit down with the owners of the country and negotiate a treaty.” ...
... "When James Anaya came to Australia," Mr Pilger told the audience, "he went to Utopia and was shocked at the living conditions and said 'why is this going on? This is racist'. Mr Anaya had come to Utopia in the wake of the infamous Northern Territory Intervention and declared it was racist. ...
John Pilger - NIT - 22 January 2014
... "What I do sense and I am perhaps something more of an authority on this is that overseas the notion is Australia is a lucky country, it's lucky that it's got away with how it treats Indigenous Australians unlike South Africa. You'll remember that a global campaign helped to bring about the end of racial Apartheid in South Africa," he said. ... No Western country has been more repeatedly condemned for the way it has treated its Indigenous people and for its racism than Australia. ... "In the film we compare footage we shot recently with footage we shot 28 years ago and the situation is identical." ...
John Pilger - NIT - 22 January 2014 - www.nit.com.au
... "This film is about heroes, not victims," he said. "It is about struggle and resistance and brings together some of the most admirable human beings I have ever met. "Utopia will not tell Indigenous people anything you don't already know - it's for the majority of people in this country who don't know and if they do, who have not listened."
John Pilger, Koori Mail - 29 January 2014 - www.koorimail.com
..I have been making films about the First People of my country for more than 30 years," Mr Pilger said. "It is they who are Australia's true distinction, its uniqueness, and yet, as one Elder tells me in Utopia, 'it is as if we are refugees in our own country.' "It describes not only the uniqueness of the First Australians, but their trail of tears and betrayal and resistance - from one utopia to another." ...
John Pilger - Koori Mail - It's Utopia at The Block - 15 January 2014 - www.koorimail.com
Everyone who has the opportunity should see this film! For me, the conditions of the 'boat' people and First Nations in Australia was summed up symbolically by the overcrowded house without a kitchen, without a bathroom and only one, nonworking toilet, no electricity and one tap outside vs the comfortable home of the community manager with EIGHTEEN airconditioners.
NIT - Thousands flock to see Utopia - 22 January 2014
... The film does quite deliberately use her [Rosalie Kunoth-Monks] community of Utopia to contrast the physical and human rights differences between black and white Australians ... John Pilger told the audience Australia truly was the lucky country. Lucky it had as yet escaped the fate of an Apartheid-era South Africa. ... For John Pilger it was the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention that made him realise the film that became Utopia was overdue. ...
For the full article in two parts: please click here and here
SMH - Outside pressure key to better life for Aborigines, says Pilger - 20 January 2014
... The film, which had its Australian premiere in Redfern on Friday and has already been screened on British television, is aimed at both home and overseas audiences.
"There is often more knowledge about Aboriginal Australia overseas than there is in Australia," Pilger says. "I'm reminded of that every time I go into Indigenous Australia and ask non-Indigenous people what they know about the Aboriginal past, culture and communities. The responses are often shocking … shocking in that too many people know too little. ...
Radical Blues - John Pilger’s Utopia - 20 January 2014
...There were introductory remarks from some of the Indigenous leaders who participated in the film, including actor, activist and Utopia elder Rosalie Kunoth-Monks who said: “I don’t think anybody would want to live in the Northern Territory under this government....
Utopia premiered in the UK last year, and I can see how an international audience would get a good overview of many of the issues facing Aboriginal – and non-Aboriginal – Australians today, and the history of how we got to this point. I also agree with Pilger that the “majority of Australians” would learn things they didn’t now from the film. I’m just not sure too many of them will see it....
...the film also prompted me to think again about things I already knew. These included, the shocking figures on incarceration of Aboriginal people, the politics of the Northern Territory Intervention,...
THING2THING - 19 January 2014 -
Thousands of people from around Australia gathered on the evening of January 17th 2014 at The Block in Redfern, an Aboriginal quarter close to downtown Sydney, for the world premiere of John Pliger’s new film ‘UTOPIA’. The event was graced with the presence of the author and speakers that included Aboriginal Elders and activists. It attracted a broad cross-section of concerned citizens.
‘UTOPIA’ takes its name from a town located in the heart of the Northern Territory; one that is populated by an Aboriginal community. Contrary to what the name suggests… here live our most disadvantaged Australians, in conditions that are truly appalling, even by third-world standards. The eye disease trachoma, for example, has been successfully eradicated in poor countries such as Sri Lanka and Vietnam, but not in “rich Australia” ...
Workers Bush Telegraph - 19 January 2014
... the film had its inaugural public showing at the block in redfern on friday night where a free public screening was successfully held. a crowd up to an estimated 3 000 crowded into the block, the ‘aboriginal heart of redfern’ as john described it. ....
Record 4,000 audience attend open-air premiere of Utopia in Australia - 18 January 2014
... Utopia had its Australian premiere in the urban heart of Indigenous Australia, in The Block in Redfern, Sydney, on 17 January 2014. The crowd filled the equivalent of two football pitches. Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians came from all over the country to hear call for a renewed struggle for justice and freedom for Australia's first people. ...
One of the world's best kept secrets is revealed against a background of the greatest boom in mineral wealth. Has the 'lucky country' inherited South African apartheid? And how could this happen in the 21st century? What role has the media played? Utopia is both a personal journey and universal story of power and resistance and how modern societies can be divided between those who conform and a dystopian world of those who do not conform.
Utopia draws on people and places Pilger first filmed 28 years ago during his long association with the indigenous people of his homeland. The evidence he produces is often deeply moving and shocking.
Utopia is produced by Dartmouth Films and released in association with Network Releasing. A DVD with an extraordinary collection of interviews and sequences not included in the final cut of the film will be released by Network at the same time. ...
Utopia film screening – The Block Redfern - 18 January 2014
... Last night, its community (and beyond) congregated to show the Australian premiere to reveal the world’s biggest secret against the boom of mineral wealth. ...
This was not just an outdoor cinema but an opportunity to let speakers such as elders, embassy representatives, and Pilgner himself to give provocative speeches highlighting the negative impact white people has had on the Indigenous. They were empowering. ... As one of the elders said, ‘tonight is the night of truth’. ...
Would I go to watch Utopia again? Of course. There was so much depth, research and interviews which require deeper knowledge. The movie just scraped the surface of a problem and it kinda made me want to know more! It’ll be good to watch it again and have a better understanding. ...
Whispering Jack - John Pilger’s ‘Utopia’ - 18 January 2014
Last night, I was fortunate enough to be able to make it along to the Australian premier screening of John Pilger’s new documentary, Utopia, at The Block in Redfern (see the trailer for the film here). It was an emotional experience—some parts are very difficult to watch—with deep sadness, shame and guilt (as a white Australian), anger and even rage being stirred up, but there was also an almost tangible sense of hope that flooded the open-air event.
Utopia is in some ways a kind of follow-up film to Pilger’s The Secret Country (1985), though The Secret Country focuses more on the history of Indigenous/non-Indigenous contact in Australia while Utopia focuses more on the present situation. At the beginning of the film, Pilger describes his shock in finding out that Indigenous Australians are still facing many of the same issues as they did when he filmed The Secret Country, and how (non-Indigenous) Australia still hasn’t adequately acknowledged it’s shameful history and grappled with the (ongoing) injustice of how Indigenous peoples have been—and are being—treated in their own land. ...
Koori Mail - It's Utopia at The Block - 15 January 2014
..[John Pilger] took two years to make the film, shot mainly at Utopia homeland in the Northern Territory... It contrasts those conditions with the affluence of Palm Beach in Sydney's north and the Canberra suburb of Barton, home of the Federal Parliament....
TREATY - Change.org petition for Treaty - please sign and share - 20 January 2014