||Produced by 70. 1977.
When the head of the Australian Aboriginal Mangatopi family of Snake Bay, Melville Island, died, his final wish was that a film be made in his memory. Goodbye Old Man is the result. As a film that comes from the request of the family rather than from an outsider, it has a depth of involvement not often achieved in ethnographic film.
In the first part of the film, various members of the family each talk about their memories of the dead man, of their respect for him. At the same time they are preparing for the pukumani ceremony-traditional among the Tiwi of Melville Island off Northern Australia-to put the dead man's spirit at rest and to readjust the imbalance his death has created. Such ceremonies are again being performed after a period of decline. This ceremony is also one of bereavement, allowing the whole family the chance to say goodbye.
1 videocassette (? min.) : sd., color ; 1/2 in
Film maker: David MacDougall
Melville Island, Australia
Family, ceremony and meanings behind it