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Presented by the Darwin International Film Festival and Our Generation Media in association with Darwin Festival

Celebrate the launch of the Darwin International Film Festival with the NT premiere of a powerful new documentary.

Filmed over five years in Northeast Arnhem Land and as a result of a 16-year friendship, Luku Ngärra: The Law of the Land is a confronting and intimate journey into the world of the Yolŋu First Nations of Australia. This independent Indigenous-funded film unflinchingly shows how the dominant paradigm has forced itself upon the lives of Australia’s First Nations people, creating chaos and devastation to their everyday lives, their culture and their law.

Driven by one of the country’s most respected Indigenous elders, Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra OAM, who has been a tireless beacon for freedom and justice for his people for the last 45 years, the film challenges our understanding of the Yolŋu world, their history, culture and their highly sophisticated but often misrepresented Maḏayin System of traditional law. Rare footage of law ceremonies that have been in practise for over 60,000 years, as well as an intimate lens into the harsh reality currently facing remote communities in Arnhem Land today, compel us to question our own world and the views and structures that come with it.

With a powerful soundtrack of Indigenous music including Yothu Yindi, Bärra West Wind and Mau Power, and featuring the uninhibited voices of Mark Yingiya Guyula (Independent MP) and Baykali Ganambarr (winner of the Marcello Mastroianni Award for The Nightingale) Luku Ngärra is narrated by Yolŋu actress Rarriwuy Hick (True Colours, Wentworth). Combined with his well-known directness, his wisdom as a spiritual teacher as well as his authority as a senior initiated law man, Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra insists that we finally look at the big questions around law and freedom, whilst offering an illuminating message for all of humanity.

The screening will be followed by a Q+A with special guests including Rev Dr Gondarra and the director Sinem Saban.


  • Director, Producer & Writer Sinem Saban

  • Co-Producer & Writer Rev Dr Djiniyini Gondarra

  • Writer Biritjaluwuy Gondarra

  • Cinematography Sam Harris, Felix Baker, Maria Ines Manchego, Zachary Peel McGregor, Sinem Saban

Winner Change Award at 2023 Adelaide Film Festival

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