Coniston (2012) MIFF Film Review


Eighty years ago, an Aboriginal man killed a white man at a spring where they were both camped. The government response was to send the police after the tribe and many people were massacred.

Coniston tells two stories. The first is the story of the massacre and the events leading up to it. This is told in a traditional documentary style, with recreations, interviews with survivors and their descendants and voiceover. The second story is of the making of the recreations, with film maker Francis Jupurrurla Kelly  travelling through communities, talking to people about the events and about the recreation. Whilst the massacre itself is an important part of Australian history that should be recognised and remembered, it was the interviews and the process that I found more interesting.