Skip to main content

WHITEYS LIKE US

Australia, 1998 (MIFF 1999, Australian Showcase)

Director: Rachael Landers

What goes on in a high school classroom at Manly Community College for two hours on Wednesday nights represents a fascinating microcosm of how white Australians are dealing (or not dealing) with the coun­try's indigenous past and present. Four times a year a group of between ten and fifteen white strangers come together to participate in an eight week reconciliation study circle. These circles were initiated by the Reconciliation Council in 1991 with the "aim of improv­ing relations between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians".

The documentary focuses on one study circle through its eight sessions and examines the impact Ihe process has on the participants' lives. The internal work­ings of this group and the individual responses to it pro­vide a glimpse of how Australians have reached this dif­ficult, critical, and complex nexus of indigenous and non-indigenous relations and how 'ordinary' Australians grappie with the issues this evokes on a personal basis.

Following producer Tom Zubrycki's past landmark Australian documentaries at the Festival—Exile to Sarajevo (MIFF 1997) and Dr Jazz (MIFF 1998)—he delivers an expose that is in many ways too close to the white Australian bone. Working with director Rachael Landers, whose direction is sensitive without pulling punches Whiteys Like Us is sure to cling to the lips of Festival audiences. Beneath all the media headlines and sensational journalism ot recent race debates, Whiteys Like Us delivers some uncomfortable, yet vital, truths. Simply not to be missed.

See also...

AMY

With Amy, Nadia Tass demonstrates the breadth of her talent as both director and producer. The quirky comic elements of her previous successes, including Malcolm and The Big Steal, are retained in ... More »

ALIEN BIG CATS

It's part fact, part hysteria - totally enthralling. Alien Big Cats takes to the Australian bush with spot-light in one hand, conspiracy theory in the other - all in search of a wild (and decidely ... More »

DEAD LETTER OFFICE

The Dead Letter Office: a limbo for lost mail and lost souls. Having been abandoned by her father as a child, Alice (Miranda Otto) continued to write him letters, not realising that he never received ... More »

HEPHZIBAH

Curtis Levy's documentary traces the public and private life of Hephzibah Menuhin, celebrated equally as a concert pianist and human rights worker. When her brother, internationally acclaimed ... More »

HEAD ON

Nineteen year-old Ari (Alex Dimitriades) is obsessed with sex, drugs, his little sister's Lebanese boyfriend and his best friend's transvestite tendencies. Spread over an intense and eventful day ... More »

BIGGER THAN TINA

Dan Vardy-Cobb lives at home with his parents, but he has a dream. Dan wants to abandon the restrictions of his suburban world and let his abundant musical creativity run free in the high risk, high ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director