Charlie’s Country

Wednesday, September 16, 2015 – 7:30pm
Australia 2014. Director: Rolf de Heer. 108 min. Blu-ray Disc

The iconic Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil won the Best Actor award at Cannes for his role as Charlie, an aging indigenous man determined to maintain his culture and autonomy in white-dominated society. (Although the film is set in Northern Australia and about the Yolngu Aboriginal people, the parallels with Canada and its First Nations are writ large.) When his hunting rifle and then a homemade spear are confiscated by the white authorities as “dangerous weapons,” Charlie’s frustration reaches a boiling point. Retreating into the outback, he “goes bush,” only to be done in by failing health. Sent to far-away Darwin to recuperate, Charlie falls in with a group of homeless Aborigines struggling with addiction and endures a stint in jail before his resilience and inner strength show him a way home.

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Post-screening discussion with Leslie Bonshor, Director of Aboriginal Health at Fraser Health. Ms. Bonshor provides leadership within Fraser Health by planning, supporting, and guiding the implementation of initiatives designed to improve the health of Aboriginal people comprising First Nations (on and off reserve), Inuit, and Metis people. Prior to her current position, from 2001 to 2007 she provided business support and consulting services to First Nations communities and organizations in the Fraser Valley. Leslie is a member of the Tzeachten First Nation.

Moderated by Dr. Harry Karlinsky, Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia.


“A delicate but powerful film that functions as both a stinging depiction of marginalization and as a salute to the career of the remarkable actor who inhabits almost every frame.”
Hollywood Reporter full review

“The tangled tale of Aboriginal relations in Australia is rendered richly personal in director Rolf de Heer’s 14th dramatic feature.”
Variety | full review