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Together, Alone: Indigenous Film Now


Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA

This series—presented in conjunction with the special exhibition Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia—will highlight the contribution that Indigenous filmmakers have made and how they are reshaping cinematic representations.

While Indigenous peoples from Australia have been portrayed in film since the beginning of the medium, it is only in the last two decades that Indigenous directors have taken control of the camera to tell their own stories in their own ways. In addition, non-Indigenous directors have had to re-examine how they tell Indigenous stories to ensure that they become true collaborations of meaningful exchange. Whether working independently or collaboratively, Indigenous peoples are taking ownership of their self-representation in documentary, musical, social realism, and avant-garde cinema.

Join us for weekly Sunday matinee screenings during the run of the series.

About today’s film:

Toomelah (2011)
100 min., color; Australia, English and Aboriginal English (Creole)

The story centers on Daniel, a small, 10-year-old boy who dreams of being a gangster. He is kicked out of school and befriends a local gang leader, until a rival gangster arrives back from jail to reclaim his turf. A showdown ensues and Daniel is caught in the middle, leaving him with a choice to make about his uncertain future.

Toomelah is a deeply personal story, one that intimately depicts mission life in contemporary Australia. It reveals the challenges facing the young Gamilaroi people of the Toomelah community. Robbed of much of their traditional culture by government policy, it is a community on a cultural edge, struggling for an identity. The film offers a provocative and yet comic story that transports audiences inside the community, creating an authentic world and way of life that is “Toomelah” (

Director/Writer: Ivan Sen
Producer: David Jowsey
Music: Ivan Sen
Cinematography: Ivan Sen
Film Editing: Ivan Sen
Production Management: Kate Cooper, Jan Van Roey
Sound Recordist: Kevin Binge

The screenings will be held in Menschel Hall, Lower Level.

Free admission

Cosponsored by the Harvard University Native American Program.

Support for this program is provided by the Richard L. Menschel Endowment Fund. Modern and contemporary art programs at the Harvard Art Museums are made possible in part by generous support from the Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer, Jr., Fund for Modern and Contemporary Art.

Lead support for Everywhen: The Eternal Present in Indigenous Art from Australia and related research has been provided by the Harvard Committee on Australian Studies. The exhibition is supported by the Australian Government through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Consulate-General, New York.