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BLACK RIVER

Australia, 1993 (MIFF 1993, Documentaries)

Director: Kevin Lucas

Black River is a sumptuous and compelling adaptation of one of Australia's boldest contemporary operatic works, featuring Abo­riginal mezzo-soprano, Maroochy Barambah (Bran Nue Dae, Women of the Sun) as Miriam. The production was originally mounted, to unanimous acclaim, by the Sydney Metropoli­tan Opera and the Bangarra Dance Theatre. This inherently cinematic rendering of that work has taken it far beyond the stage, into a realm all its own.

The film explores the memories, visions and fears that envelop the central characters; imprisoned as much by their prejudices and cultural ignorance as they are by the imposing storm and flood that forces all to take refuge in the local gaol, where Miriam's son had recently been found hung.

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