Acclaimed musician Archie Roach and Port Augusta’s Dusty Feet Mob dance group are the focus of Dusty Feet Mob – This Story’s True, a new short documentary to share healing stories of the Stolen Generations.
Dusty Feet Mob – This Story’s True was created by Aboriginal community members in Port Augusta, in collaboration with award-winning production company Change Media, through an initiative of the South Australian Film Corporation (SAFC), Country Arts SA and the City of Port Augusta.
From the sand hills of Port Augusta to the bustling streets of Adelaide, Dusty Feet Mob’s young Aboriginal performers dance their way into the hearts and minds of their enraptured audiences, using the power of song and dance to help heal the pain of the past. As they prepare to perform their signature dance to Archie Roach’s iconic song ‘Took the Children Away’, the dancers and their dedicated supporters offer creative, intergenerational and deeply emotional insights into the story of the Stolen Generations, determined to carry on Uncle Archie’s legacy – the past will not be forgotten.
For Archie Roach, it’s the children carrying on the legacy of healing that makes him especially proud and grateful. Archie said: “In our First People’s culture we have story, song and dance. The story of the Stolen Generations is the story we hear and take in with our minds and the song enters our spirit. But dance helps us to move and weave that story and song through our body.
Dusty Feet Mob help us heal holistically; through our mind - the story; through our spirit - the song and through our body – the dance.”
Dusty Feet Mob are more than just an Aboriginal dance group, they are a community that nurtures strength, confidence and dignity, their work offering connections for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to grow in acceptance, understanding and empathy together.
Dusty Feet Mob – This Story’s True is one of two documentaries, alongside The Mulka Man, created through the Port Augusta Emerging Film Development Program, a series of development and production workshops for emerging Aboriginal screen creatives held from July to October in 2019, funded and presented by the SAFC through its Aboriginal Screen Strategy, along with Country Arts SA with support from the City of Port Augusta, delivered by Change Media with additional support from the Australia Council for the Arts.
SAFC Associate Executive, Production and Development Nara Wilson, who facilitated the program, said: “Through the SAFC’s regular workshops and initiatives over the last few years, Port Augusta has become a real hub of activity in SA for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander filmmakers, with practitioners coming from all over the state to learn new skills and develop their craft. We are proud to highlight Indigenous voices, and facilitate Indigenous storytelling through these programs.”
SAFC CEO Kate Croser said: “These documentaries not only show what incredible emerging screen talent there is in South Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, but they highlight the importance of the SAFC’s Aboriginal Screen Strategy in developing and supporting Indigenous screen practitioners, and bringing their stories and voices to the fore. I congratulate the filmmakers on their success.”
Samantha Yates, Country Arts SA’s Cultural Programming Manager, Aboriginal and Reconciliation Programs said: “Opportunities for professional Aboriginal film development in regional areas are essential. Having a platform to share and broaden awareness gives voice to many untold stories. Dusty Feet Mob – This Story’s True is an incredible example of how a short film can educate the general public and create deeper compassion for the stolen generations.”
The project has been funded by the Port Augusta City through the Regional Arts Fund and Country Arts SA and the South Australian Film Corporation grants for an Aboriginal screen initiative, with additional support from the Australia Council for the Arts through Change Media’s What Privilege initiative 2019.
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