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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 20.59%
Average: 16.18%
Pretty Bad: 8.82%
Total Crap: 26.47%

1 review, 62 user ratings

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Yolngu Boy
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by Filmnet

"'Time is not a line, a circle'"
3 stars

Three boys with different dreams, representing three aspects of contemporary aboriginal youth. Lorrpu (Pilakui) seeks a balance between both cultures, with the emphasis on his indigenous heritage...Milika (Daniels) embraces the 'balanda' culture, and its footy, chicks and rap music with open arms...and Botj (Mununggur), represents the ultimate tragedy of his kind - seduced by the destructive elements of white man's world which is progressively pulling him away form what was once a strong boy-hood connection to his Yolngu roots.

They have been friends since childhood, and "Yolngu Boy" tells of the journey into manhood the three take together - a journey that will require a combination of their knowledge of both cultures, and that will lead them respectfully onto their own personal destinies.

This is the first feature shot entirely in the Northern Territory with a nearly entirely indigneous cast, the only exception being several 'white' extras and a cameo by Jack Nicholson as the arm of white man law.

The thing that will strike most about "Yolngu Boy" is that it doesn't seek to 'point the bone' at anyone - it is not about recriminations or blaming white man for the 'plight' of indigeneous peoples and neither does it glamourise or seek to further polticise the state of white/indigenous relations.

There is often a 'doco' style feel to the film, and it would be
difficult to leave the cinema without some better understanding of modern indigenous culture and the issues surrounding it. At times, the plot is a little thin and given it contains a mostly 'untried' cast, it is difficult to judge the film on its acting merits. Having said this though, the energy and charisma of the actors, especially the three leads, is admirable and compelling, and where the emotional depth is lacking in terms of performance, it is made up for in raw energy and truth. Certain scenes stand out - Batj's sniffing episodes, the flashbacks and the "Ruwu" dreamtime scenes in particular were well put together.

The photography is excellent, capturing some great shots of the Northern Territory and the soundtrack is woven skilfully around the action.

Overall, the film accomplishes what it sets out to in representing the particular dilemmas of indigenous youth in an honest and palatable way. One would hope it will open up projects of a similar nature and integrity.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 03/17/01 12:05:58
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For more in the Australian series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2005 Brisbane Film Festival. For more in the 2005 Brisbane Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/04/18 MaCe_Blizzard HI NOAH 5 stars
6/01/16 Milika i play for the Bombers now 5 stars
11/02/15 Justin Credible Christian Grey was such a nice young man. More boys should aspire to be like him. 1 stars
6/09/14 lorrpu so upset that botj died. #downy 3 stars
11/25/13 petrolsniffer this movie was crap tbh stupid abos! 1 stars
7/18/13 Rat Sick 4 stars
6/06/13 sarah it was a pretty good moive that got better and better! 4 stars
6/06/13 Botj I'm dead (SurRainbow) 1 stars
12/17/12 perfita roll it was a decent movie wasn't bad but it won't win any movie awards. 3 stars
9/12/12 Botj gimme smoke...cmon CMON ! 1 stars
11/29/10 kerri this movie was great it shows the effects of Aboriginal peoples life after european contact 5 stars
8/06/09 Patricia Titus it was really deep movie about three best friends whose have a different thinking of life.. 5 stars
7/30/09 Eve-Maree Lungwitz Crap movie, worst thing ive ever had to listen to in my life. it should be burnt 1 stars
5/06/09 renee smyth open your mind fools it was sick as. watched it a million times and now analysing it fr uni 5 stars
5/21/08 taylor the movie was pretty lame 2 stars
5/15/08 Zach-this is a film study in my class You racists are so lame. good movie- GIVE ME A SMOKE 4 stars
5/13/08 PooBumWeeface this was shit 1 stars
5/10/08 Alana it was boring at the start but it got better and it was better than i expeted 3 stars
2/19/08 tom GAYmer this movie is poo cunnamulla movie is way better eeeeeh murdie gime smoke and some vb eehhh 5 stars
8/29/07 matty i thought it was realy good because it takes into the mind of a teen Aboriginal & culture 5 stars
6/04/07 jake it was the best an kabab and habib u races shits 5 stars
4/16/07 gotsomethintosay abbos would not have sniffed petrol if white man didnt teache them.It was an OK movies 4 stars
4/16/07 k-money was pretty cool, all u racist fuck can go to hell 4 stars
4/11/07 sara i liked it and tell the other people 2 shut there pie hole and try it 5 stars
4/01/07 Ronnie i really loved the movie. it was great 4 stars
11/16/06 Samantha Lee You's are so racist. It was a good movie, racism is not welcome ! 4 stars
11/05/06 ben shit 1 stars
10/27/06 sharon botj is gay 1 stars
8/11/06 Sylvia Satrick i believe that the film is quite good it does expresses alot. 4 stars
6/16/06 Chris Frith I recin its not bad 4 stars
5/18/06 Phoebe A very entertaining film that I can relate to in many ways! 4 stars
5/10/06 Yipyip ZOMG SO MARVELLEOUS 5 stars
4/21/06 me Fuck the abbos , get a life and get over it !!!! 1 stars
11/04/05 Megan great movie 5 stars
10/28/04 Pete By the way you bloody racists can kiss my arse 4 stars
10/28/04 Pete I thought it wasn't too bad. I still didn't quite know if there was a real plot 4 stars
10/16/04 kabab fuck this movie was shit, stupid abbos 1 stars
7/05/04 habib the black fellas all ran around with sticks and sniffed petrol like dirty abbos - sucks ass 1 stars
6/11/04 Kayla I love it 5 stars
6/09/04 imnotracist excellent movie which conveys many emotions 5 stars
5/30/04 Nikita Heenan i loved the film it was great 5 stars
5/17/04 Conrad omg u fuckheads are so racist! =\ It was a fucking boring movie but good actors etc 2 stars
5/08/04 Dazza102 abbos sniffing petrol & abbos stealing stuff. I like the end - only good abbo is a dead one 1 stars
5/06/04 tyrone griffin i loved this film it was awesome!! 5 stars
5/06/04 amaya alcorta this film is graet i really enjoyed it!! 4 stars
4/28/04 2good fucking shit , black cunts on tv the ends good a black cunt dies and its soo funny 1 stars
4/23/04 ToRz boring 2 stars
3/16/04 Alana it was ok 2 stars
10/28/03 james mckinley it was crrap 1 stars
9/23/03 kristy lala 3 stars
9/01/03 only an aboriginal would sniff super and then smoke, everyone knows unleaded's better 1 stars
8/31/03 N/A Strong australian values theme but overall it was CRAP. Bloody petrol Sniffers 1 stars
8/31/03 robert hill excellent 5 stars
8/20/03 movie critic this was shit it takes the cake for worst movie from Spice world by far. 2 stars
8/19/03 rebecca it waz awesome 5 stars
4/08/03 funnyfuckinfudge fuckin hell mate, whats them balckies doin on me fuckin tv 5 stars
5/25/02 Deejay Inappropriate for the target audience. 2 stars
8/19/01 zac jack thompson not jack nicholson makes a cameo 3 stars
6/21/01 Mikes Grandfather the movie sucked more ass than Pearl Harbour 1 stars
6/21/01 Mike Jr man that was shit 1 stars
5/28/01 Mike Great 5 stars
4/30/01 Vanessa Finally a film about Aboriginals not clogged down with overwrought political correctness. 4 stars
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Directed by
  Stephen Johnson

Written by
  Stephen Johnson

  Sean Mununggurr
  John Sebastian Pilakui

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