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Darlene Johnson on telling stories through documentary

By Sista Girl Productions, 2009 2:48 minutes

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Darlene Johnson is interested in making documentaries about real people who have something important to say. In her first documentary, Stolen Generations (2000), she presented the point of view of Aboriginal people who were removed from their families. Johnson is inspired by the stories of the people she meets and the connections she makes. She is motivated to document Aboriginal culture from the inside, and when she made Crocodile Dreaming (2007) with David Gulpilil she became the first person to film the crocodile dreaming ceremony.

Collection Blak Wave

Discussion Points

Johnson’s aim in Stolen Generations was to represent the perspective of Aboriginal people who were taken from their families under the government policy of assimilation. She is clear that she has no interest in the point of view of the perpetrators of this injustice.

  • Why is it so important for Johnson to record the stories of the surviving members of the Stolen Generations?
  • How would it change the documentary if Johnson balanced the Aboriginal participants’ stories with the white perspective?