Protecting Manuwangku

Australia | 2014 | 23 min 45 | Documentary
Directors: Jason De Santolo and Isaac Parsons | Producer: Fabio Cavadini
Original Language: English | Subtitles: French

Synopsis: Protecting Manuwangku showcases the strength and determination of the Warlmanpa people in the Central Australian desert, fighting to defend their country and culture from the national nuclear waste dump proposed on their traditional land. The eight-year Muckaty campaign achieved an historic victory in June 2014 when half way through a federal court challenge, the federal government agreed not to further pursue the site. But radioactive waste laws continue to target Aboriginal Land and suspend basic rights. The film provides important lessons and inspiration for the many battles to come.

Directors’ Statement: This Jumbunna Research (University of Technology Sydney) documentary project was initiated by invitation and in partnership with Aboriginal Elders and the amazing Beyond Nuclear Initiative campaign team led by film production manager Natalie Wasley. Protecting Manuwangku showcases the strength and determination of Warlmanpa people, fighting to defend their country from a national nuclear waste dump proposed on Aboriginal land at Muckaty in Central Australia. Working with community leaders Dianne Stokes Nampin and Bunny Naburula was so inspirational. Along with other Elders they played critical roles in the eight-year Muckaty campaign, which achieved an historic victory in June 2014.

We were also lucky enough to work with seasoned documentary makers Fabio Cavadini and Amanda King of Frontyard Films and were able to share and learn from their decades of experience with cutting edge social activism documentary. After production was complete, National Indigenous Television (NITV) partnered up, and took the distribution to another level with a number of broadcasts as well as a dedicated “Awaken” panel discussion show, which explored nuclear waste and the impact of the nuclear industry on Aboriginal communities at a broader level. Radioactive waste laws in Australia continue to target Aboriginal Land and basic rights. Protecting Manuwangku provides important lessons and inspiration for the many battles to come.
Jason DeSantolo and Isaac Parsons