The screening of Gurrumul at the Deckchair Cinema will raise funds for one of the acclaimed musician’s greatest legacies – an investment in the next generation of Indigenous artists.
By Tamara Howie
The impact of his death in July 2017 was felt across the globe, but before his passing Gurrumul Yunupingu established the Gurrumul Yunupingu Foundation to give kids in the bush the same opportunities that were afforded to him.
Foundation chair and Gurrumul’s close friend Mark Grose says the money raised from the film screening will go to into programs set up to educate and empower young Indigenous artists.
“The foundation was set up at the insistence of Gurrumul who asked both Michael (Hohnen) and I how we can help young Indigenous kids from the bush have the same opportunities and support that he’d had,” he says.
“The foundation’s aim is to set up long term programs in remote communities around arts and sport.”
These include music programs in Galiwin’ku, Kalkarindji and the Katherine region.
The film premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival in 2017 and received international praise.
“The success of the film has been phenomenal,” Grose says.
“It is a film that affects people deeply – you can both laugh and cry in it.
“I think the key to the film is it’s a genuine story of his life and musical journey and there are no clichés about Indigenous musicians or life – it’s just an honest look at the journey he went on.”
Grose says Gurrumul broke down the barrier between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in a way that had never been done before.
“What shocked people when they first discovered him was there was this phenomenal beauty in Indigenous culture that no one had really seen before,” he says.
“I think his legacy is exactly that – he’s shown the world that there is a real depth of beauty of traditional Indigenous culture. It’s not all doom and gloom and ugliness, there’s a deep artistic cultural and intellectual depth to Indigenous culture which we generally don’t see, particularly in Northern Australia where we get so many negative images.
“We don’t appreciate how important that traditional cultural content is to all of us.
“He opened the door to a world that is beautiful and Aboriginal people are saying, this is part of everyone’s Australia and we want you to share and be part of it.”
SUN 15 JUL | 7.30PM | DECKCHAIR CINEMA | $16 | $12 CONC | $8 CHILD | $35 FAM | deckchaircinema.com