Identity is the way we see ourselves in the way of others. Alternately, it is possible to be an identity, with Clive James simultaneously showing his personality and identity through Unreliable Memoirs. Either way, identity is shaped from a variety of things including culture, personality and society. Without having an established identity, people often come into conflict with themselves, and others as they struggle to piece their identity together.
Yolngu Boy is mainly concerned with cultural identity, and its importance to the three childhood friends - Lorrpu, a strong believer in Aboriginal culture, Milika, a promising football talent, and Botj, a misguided teenager caught between western society and his cultural society, who risks losing his chance to become a ceremonial man.
Recurring motifs are used throughout the film to emphasize the importance of cultural identity in the film. These include Lorrpu's dream consisting of close-ups through their initiation ceremony, the allusions to their guardian spirit Baru, and the recurring use of the football which symbolizes a joining of two cultures.
The important role culture has in contributing towards identity is evident in the characterization of Botj. After learning that Milika and Lorrpu are eligible for ceremony, Botj feels isolated and jealous of his friends when he yells - "You two going to get ceremony and be men, I'm still going to be a boy! That's great aye!"Several scenes later, the use of dizzy and uncontrolled camera shots imitate a hallucinating Botj. The combination of images including indigenous artwork, and ordered seats like a church, portray the internal struggle Botj is experiencing. Later he is confronted with an artistic impression of Baru where he becomes angry and attempts to kick it down. Flashbacks to the initiation ceremony show us the love hate relationship he is having regarding ceremony. As a...