The Change at Groote

Last updated

The Change at Groote
Directed by Stefan Sargent
Running time
27 min

The Change at Groote is a 1968 Australian film which examined how the Anindilyakwa people of Groote Eylandt adjusted to the change in their lifestyle which resulted from the discovery of manganese on their land. The director and writer of the film described it as "a fragmented collage of images and sounds, intended to produce a direct emotional response" and "a study of a complete cultural revolution in less than a generation". [1] It was produced by the Australian Commonwealth Film Unit.

Anindilyakwa is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in the Northern Territory of Australia. A 2001 Australian government study identified more than 1000 speakers of the language, although there are reports of as many as three thousand. In 2008, it was cited in a study on whether humans had an innate ability to count without having words for numbers. While the language traditionally had terms for numbers up to 20, they are no longer known to younger speakers. In the 2016 census, around 1500 people said they spoke Anindilyakwa.

Groote Eylandt island off the Northern Australian coast

Groote Eylandt is the largest island in the Gulf of Carpentaria and the fourth largest island in Australia. It is the homeland of, and is owned by, the Warnindhilyagwa who speak the Anindilyakwa language.

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It won five awards including sharing the 1968 Australian Film Institute (AFI) Golden Reel Award for Best Documentary for non-fiction "for both the adventurous film making strategies and for the sentiments it evoked", the Adelaide Advertiser (newspaper) Award for the Best Australian Film of 1968 and the 1968 Film Editors Guild of Australia Award. [1]

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  1. 1 2 "The Change at Groote". A Place to Think. Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 7 April 2013.
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