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Observational Documentary 16x9 Widescreen Copyright 2007
VERSIONS: 2 x 26min, 1 x 55min
Critically acclaimed as one of the year’s most significant Aboriginal films – Sacred Ground tells the true story of Aboriginal people fighting to hold onto the last remnants of their ancient heritage and culture.
This is a unique Australian film – there are no other Australian films like it.
Quenten Agius discovers his ancestor’s ancient skeletal remains in the middle of a multi-million dollar housing development. This life changing moment forms the central story of his emotional journey. In the midst of a development boom, the film follows Quenten over 4 years as his heritage group struggle to save their ancestor’s burial grounds and other ancient sites from destruction.
Aboriginal heritage - Australia’s ancient heritage, is the heart, soul and spirit of this land. The ancient sites of the first people, their beliefs and traditions, are not being respected or protected. Their sites are living breathing museums in the sand. Much of their heritage has been destroyed, so what they have left is precious to them.
Sacred Ground is a universal story that exposes the shameful truth and injustices being perpetrated on Aboriginal heritage and culture. When Quenten speaks we can see and feel his pain. There are many powerful and personal moments that connect us to his culture and enable us to begin to understand the importance of preserving his people’s ancient heritage for future generations.
In the lucky country, 40,000 years of ancient heritage, culture and traditions are being swept away – it’s an international disgrace. Quenten’s mob are witnessing the desecration and destruction of the last remaining heritage and cultural sites on their traditional lands - sites that are vital to their Dreaming stories and cultural beliefs - stories and beliefs that have been handed down from generation to generation for thousands of years.
Never before documented scenes of ancient Aboriginal ceremonies, Dreaming stories and chanting in the Adjahdura language, are important elements of this significant and multi-layered international award-winning documentary.
5 years in the making, Sacred Ground is a deeply moving story. From the opening scenes to the thought provoking climax, it takes us into an Aboriginal world that is rarely seen or heard. Quenten and his mob have the guts to stand up, to speak out and express their views, to fight for what they believe in - Sacred Ground is their story.
Quenten Agius - discovers ancient human skeletal remains at Black Point
Quenten Agius...."It was the year of the re-enactment of the invasion when the white man first came to our country (Encounter 2002 Celebrations). Something stirred inside me and I couldn't rest for a couple of days. As we walked, we seen something that looked like a rock. I looked at the nephew and said, "Nephew, that's a rock." Black people can sense things and can feel things. He said, "No, Uncle, that's a scull." We both turned towards the sea and seen the tall ships coming. They were sailing past with their full mast out. They said to us we was meant to find her. She wanted to show herself to somebody and she must have been singing youse"
Kim Mavromatis (Producer / Director)...."Sacred Ground gives people of little voice, a voice. The film asks many questions and exposes the mistakes and lack of proper consultation by current and past governments. What right does one culture have to destroy the burial grounds and ancient sites of another culture?
The Dept of Aboriginal Affairs marked the Black Point burial in the wrong place - the Aboriginal Affairs Minister got the boundary of the burial in the wrong place - areas were determined to be significant Aboriginal sites and then developers were given the green light to develop those areas - not one person or organization has ever been prosecuted in South Australia for breaches of the Aboriginal heritage act - thousands of significant Aboriginal heritage and cultural sites in South Australia are not registered and are not protected - the Dept of Aboriginal Affairs and the Wattle Point Wind Farm developer insinuated in the media that the bones at Wattle Point were planted there - ancient remains have gone missing? Cover-ups, conflicts of interest, greed, power struggles, mistakes and ineptness have lead to Aboriginal heritage, Australia's ancient heritage, being destroyed".