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Ten Canoes Details


A man teaches his younger brother an important lesson through an ancient fable in this period comedy drama shot in Australia, and the first feature film made in the Aboriginal language of Ganalbingu. As narrator David Gulpilil Ridjimiraril Dalaithngu sets up the story, we watch a group of tribesmen led by elder Minygululu (Peter Minygululu) set out on an expedition to gather bark for canoe building and collect the precious eggs of the magpie geese. It has become clear to Minygululu that his younger brother Dayindi (Jamie Dayindi Gulpilil Dalaithngu) is infatuated with the youngest of his three wives, and Minygululu wants to be sure Dayindi doesn't do something he'll regret later on. To teach his brother a lesson, Minygululu shares with him a long story about Ridjimiraril (Crusoe Kurddal), a warrior who finds that his brother Yeeralparil (also played by Jamie Dayindi Gulpilil Dalaithngu) has become a rival for the affections of his bride. However, while Minygululu's story caries a clear message for his brother, it also goes on long enough with enough twists, turns, and digressions that it gives Dayindi little opportunity to get into mischief during the trip. Ten Canoes received its world premiere at Australia's Adelaide Festival of Arts, and was first screened in North America at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:June 1, 2007


Crusoe Kurddal
as Ridjimiraril
Richard Birrinbirrin
as Birrinbirrin
Peter Minygululu
as Minygululu
Frances Djulibing
as Nowalingu
Philip Gudthaykudthay
as The Sorcerer
David Gulpilil
as The Storyteller


Rolf de Heer
Rolf de Heer
Julie Ryan
Rolf de Heer
Ian Jones
Peter Minygululu
Featured Music
Rupert Gaykamangu
Featured Music
Roy Gaykamangu
Featured Music
John Nudumul
Featured Music
Richard Birrinbirrin
Featured Music
Mark Muruwirri
Featured Music
Tania Nehme
Beverly Freeman
Art Director
Nils Erik Nielsen
Associate Producer
Sue Murray
Executive Producer
Bryce Menzies
Executive Producer
Domenico Procacci
Executive Producer
Rory McGregor
Sound/Sound Designer
Karen Mahood
First Assistant Director
Peter Djigirr