• (L-R) Radiance, We Don't Need a Map, Zach's Ceremony, Samon & Delilah and Jedda (NITV)Source: NITV
Jedda, Lousy Little Sixpence, Zach's Ceremony and more. We bring you some of Australia's most influencial films this week, portraying courage, strength and resilience of First Nations' peoples.
NITV Staff Writer

23 Jan 2018 - 3:54 PM  UPDATED 23 Jan 2018 - 4:08 PM


Occupation Native


The majority of Australians grew up with a very one-sided history of our nation. From colonialisation to present day, Australian history has been a one-sided narrative. Occupation Native sets out to change that. Using a range of approaches, some serious and some humorous, filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas adjusts the narrative to include the experiences and history of Australia’s Indigenous community. There’s always more than one way to look at a story, and this documentary presents – without judgement – a perspective that’s been disregarded for too long.



A mother's death draws her three disparate, distant daughters back to their ramshackle childhood home, where they are forced to confront their mother's legacy of half-truths and unfinished business.

Radiance is a screen adaptation of Louis Nowra's stage play and Rachel Perkins' first directed film. Deborah Mailman went on to take home an AFI Award for Best Actress for her role as Nona. She was the first Indigenous woman to win an AFI Award. 

Let's Talk Decolonisation


Hosted by the late Tyga Bayles, this panel program takes an in-depth look at the fundamental questions surrounding colonisation and First Nations' agency.



Connection to Country 


This documentary follows the Indigenous people of the Western Australian Pilbara’s battle to preserve Australia's 50,000-year-old cultural heritage from the ravages of a booming mining industry.

The Pilbara region sits in the Burrup Peninsula (or Murujuga) and is host to the largest concentration of rock art in the world, dating back over 50,000 years.

Filmmaker Tyson Mowarin shows the waves of industrialisation and development that threaten sites all over the region, and how he and the people of the Pilbara are fighting back by documenting the rock art, recording sacred sites and battling to get their unique cultural heritage recognised, recorded and celebrated. 

Vacant Possession


A young woman returns to her childhood home - a house haunted by emotional memories. Set on the shores of Botany Bay close to where Captain Cook landed, this Australian drama tells a story of two families - one black, one white - both living in the shadow of the past. Weaving dream, memory and fantasy, it is the story of conflict and the complexities of reconciliation. 

A strong political basis, but ultimately a personal story, this film was nominated for 5 awards at the 1995 Australian Film Institute Awards.  

Let's Talk Treaty


The British Empire signed treaties with many of the tribes of Americas, and the Maori of New Zealand. But no treaty was ever signed with the First Nations here. An expert panel discusses the political, philosophical and legal inctricacies of First Nations' Sovereignty.





A documentary that explores the events that led up to 26 January 1988 - Australia's massive 'Bicentennial Celebrations'. It focuses on the grassroots mobilisation of communities throughout Australia gathered in Sydney proclaiming that White Australia had a Black History.

Here I Am


Fresh out of prison, a beautiful, young Aboriginal woman, finds herself back into old habits and back on the streets. She finds sanctuary at a shelter for Aboriginal women where she begins the painful journey of reconnecting with her estranged mother and her young daughter.

Filmmaker Beck Cole's portrayal of female resilience is a deeply felt tale of remption. 

Collard Family v. The State of WA


In 2010, the Collard family from WA's wheatbelt embarked on a legal action against the government of Western Australia in the State's first stolen generation compensation claim case. This documentary reports on those events. 



We Don't Need A Map


A feature length documentary which opened the 2017 Sydney Film Festival, We Don't Need A Map explores Australia’s complex relationship to the Southern Cross.

It is the most famous constellation in the southern hemisphere and ever since colonisation it’s been claimed, appropriated and hotly-contested for ownership by a radical range of Australian groups. But for Aboriginal people the meaning of this heavenly body is deeply spiritual, and just about completely unknown. Warwick Thornton, one of Australia’s leading film-makers, tackles this fiery subject head on in a bold, provocative and poetic essay-film. 

Samson and Delilah


Samson and Delilah's world is small, in an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, unwanted and alone the discover that life isn't always fair, but love never judges.

This award-winning film by Warwick Thornton beautifully captures the rhythms and some of the politics of Aboriginal life. 



Sunrise Ceremony


Hosted by Christine Anu and John Paul Janke, NITV's Sunrise Ceremony live from Sydney's North Head will discuss 26 January issues head-on, drawing on themes of truth-telling and songlines.

Prominent panellists will include Uncle Bruce Pascoe, Gracelyn Smallwood, Uncle Dennis Foley and Teela Reid and in-language performances will be shared by Baker Boy, Yirrmal, the Stiff Gins and Christine Anu.

A repeat of the Sunrise Ceremony will air at 12.00 noon and 9.30pm, Friday, 26 January.  

Wugulora Morning Ceremony


NITV News takes you live to the Wugulora Morning Ceremony at Sydney's Barangaroo, where Indigenous elders and performers take centre stage for the official start of the January 26 program.

Ningla A-Na


Made in 1972, this documentary records the events surrounding the establishment of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy on the lawns of Parliament House. It incorporates interviews with black activists and the work of the National Black Theatre. This rare historical record is the only film shot from inside the heart of the protest.

Lousy Little Sixpence


An influencial documentary which uses historical footage and interviews of Indigenous people who belonged to the generation that were forced into unpaid servitude by the Australian government. Referring to the amount of wages the indentured workers were supposed to be given – but never received – Lousy Little Sixpence exposes how pay was mismanaged by 'employers’, on behalf of the Aborigines Protection Board and institutionalised racism in Australia's history. 

Vote Yes for Aborigines


Directed by Frances Peters-Little, Vote Yes for Aborigines is a documentary about the 1967 Referendum and the fight for Aboriginal citizenship rights.



Jedda is an orphaned Arrernte baby who is adopted by a white family. Jedda grows up, confused over her heritage and place in the world. Charles Chauvel's landmark 1955 film is an Australian cinema classic and was the first Australian film to be shot in colour and the first to star two Aboriginal actors (Robert Tudawali and Rosalie Kunoth-Monks). 

The Big Wet


A striking visual record of a particular wet season in the tropical north of Australia. It starts with the last days of the dry in September, and concludes with the first fires in April.

Zach's Ceremony


Shot over the course of ten years, young Indigenous man Zachariah Doomadgee navigates his life being caught between "Not black, not white, sort of in the middle". Aaron Petersen’s remarkable debut documentary feature shows Zach's journey as he prepares to undergo a traditional coming-of-age ceremony on his family's country. While he learns from his (occassionally authoritative) role-model father, with adolescence also comes temptation.  

Yabun 2017


The celebration of survival really gets underway all the musical performances and action of last year's Yabun festival. 


Missed it? Catch up on all programming on On Demand. Join in the conversation #AlwaysWillBe


Join NITV for a week of programming which showcases the strength, courage and resilence of our people. #AlwaysWillBe starts Monday, 21 January on NITV (Ch. 34)