Against the backdrop of Australia's tangled colonial and Indigenous history, Putuparri and the Rainmakers explores one man's struggle to fulfil his destiny.
Tom "Putuparri" Lawford is a man caught between two worlds: his past and present in modern society, where he battles with alcoholism and domestic violence; and his future as a leader of his people, reconnecting with his ancestral lands, learning about his traditional culture and shouldering his responsibility to pass this knowledge on to the next generation.
Director Nicole Ma spent more than a decade documenting Putuparri's journey, travelling with him and his family on numerous occasions to Kurtal, in the Kimberley's Great Sandy Desert region – traditionally a site of great significance as a place where people ritually make rain – as they fight for their native title claim over the area.
Set against the backdrop of this long fight for ownership of traditional lands, the MIFF Premiere Fund-supported Putuparri and the Rainmakers is an emotional, visually breathtaking story of love, hope and the survival of Aboriginal law and culture against all odds.
Nicole Ma is a festival guest.
Read our interview with Nicole Ma.