Charlie (David Gulpilil) is trying to live in a world where the rules imposed by the government don’t make sense to his way of life. Years of colonisation mean that he can’t live the way his ancestors did, but deep systemic flaws (racism, distance, destroyed community) means that he doesn’t fit in to society as it currently exists.
It’s a tough film to watch, to see the way our current (current of 2013, but not much changed) rules and policies directly impact on First Nation communities. Growing up and living in the city, it’s easy to avoid recognising that the impacts to different communities are… different. There’s no easy solution, but it seems clear that the way things are isn’t working.