Archaeological findings indicate that Aborigines have lived in Australia for 40,000 - 100,000 years or longer. Aboriginal means, the people who were here from the beginning. The Aborigines have a special relationship with the land and animals. The land is more than a material entity that provides nourishment; it also has a spiritual dimension. It is not owned, it is held in trust. Each person belongs to a certain part of the land, and also, the land belongs to them. The land contains the identity of a person, even before they are born.
For Aborigines, spirituality and the sacred are deeply rooted in the landscape and in their relationship to the environment, which sustains them. Their songs, dances and ceremonies, even the arguments or cooperation between tribal groups, are all connected with the dreaming paths.
The movie 'Yolngu Boy' is about the search for identity, making the journey from youth to adulthood and the implications of belonging to a larger social group, whether it be a culture, a family or a group of friends.
This movie shows a close relationship between the Aborigines, the animals and the land. Although these three teenagers appear rebellious, they still show certain respect to their culture and their land. And fear what may happen if they choose to go against the law that has been set.
Throughout the movie they go on a journey toward Darwin, along the path they have many run ins with their spiritual gods, for example, the crocodile man comes to visit them in their dreams; they then know to go to the water. This seems to give the boys faith again.
At one point Lorrpu is looking for some food. He sets the field of grass on fire to flush the goanna out, remembering what he had been taught...