director: John Pilger
Utopia, the title of the film, is a town in the outback, in a region far north- east of Alice Springs. The film is a documentary, showcasing the treatment of Indigenous people in contemporary Australia. The town’s name is surprisingly ironic, as it is one of the most poor and disadvantage communities in Australia. The film follows the ill treatment of aboriginals from single incidents to communities all over Australia, not just this town alone.
Australian journalist- John Pilger interviews and directs the film. It features a vast list of credible sources of professionals in their specific field. Pilger challenges high authorities in government. The interviews conducted are not full of niceties; he gets down to blunt, nitty gritty questions that provoke hostile responses and uncomfortable reactions from the interviewees.
Indigenous people are connected to the land in a spiritual and physical way; it is part of their tradition and being. However, in remote communities they are almost forgotten about with lack of sanitation systems, shelter and transport, let alone access to proper healthcare.They are treated with a sub human status not equal to the ‘foreign’ Australian citizens. Even aid from overseas, have come to help the natives with basic necessities as a considerable number of people are living in poverty in outback communities. As a result almost a staggering one third of Aboriginals die before the age of forty- five. Statistics like this are outrageous, especially for one of the richest and developed countries in the world. Furthermore, radical efforts have been directed towards eliminating the first Australians, such as contamination of water to make them infertile and Eugenic programmes.
There is a significant amount of denial propaganda towards Aboriginals. They are often perceived as being alcoholics, lazy or simply inactive of changing their situation, as they have not conformed to ‘Australians’ ways. This being said,when the foreign people invaded and stole Australia from Indigenous people, disregarding their way of life and replacing it with their own contrasting culture and customs.
This film was made only two years ago; this is not a historical documentary of matters which have been resolved nor laid to rest. The treatment and policies affecting Indigenous people continue to be passed, hindering and restricting them, without any benefits to their welfare. It is an enlightening film that reveals the truth of the situation for many Aboriginal people, shedding light on key notions that need to be tackled with actions rather than words. A complete lack of understanding has been passed down from generation to generation within the Colonialists ancestry with a mentality that believes they should reign superior.