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The evidentiary strategies of Two Laws

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This article examines the ways in which the documentary film Two Laws deploys a variety of strategies to represent the historical claim to land made in the early 1980s by the Borroloola people of Australia's Northern Territory. Cross-cultural collaboration between the indigenous people of Borroloola and two non-indigenous film-makers produced a film that combines a vigorous reflexivity with dramatic re-enactment and oral testimony. Importantly, the presentation of evidence in support of the land claim is achieved via a form communally devised by the Borroloola people based on their cultural needs and contingent on Borroloola social structure. In this way the so-called documentary truth claim and indigenous land claim intersect in Two Laws: for the Borroloola people, the filmic evidentiary truth claim functions in a direct way in support of their legal claim to their lands.
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Keywords: Aboriginal film-making; cross-cultural collaboration; evidence; law

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Deakin University, Melbourne.

Publication date: December 8, 2008

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