Aboriginal footballer and Australian of the Year, Adam Goodes, has given high praise to John Pilger’s new film Utopia at the same time as condemning the mainstream media for their silence in reviewing the film or mentioning the large crowds that have come out to watch free screenings.
In an article for the Age on March 3, Goodes wrote: “Some 4000 people attended the open-air premiere in Redfern last month — both Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians — and yet little appeared in the media about an event that the people of Redfern say was a ‘first’. This silence has since been broken by a couple of commentators whose aggression seemed a cover for their hostility to the truth about Aboriginal people.
“It takes courage to tell the truth, no matter how unpopular those truths may be. But it also takes courage to face up to our past.
“That process starts with understanding our very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession, theft and slaughter. For that reason, I urge the many fair-minded Australians who seek genuine prosperity and equality for my people to find the courage to open their hearts and their minds and watch Utopia.
“Imagine watching a film that tells the truth about the terrible injustices committed over 225 years against your people, a film that reveals how Europeans, and the governments that have run our country, have raped, killed and stolen from your people for their own benefit.
“Now imagine how it feels when the people who benefited most from those rapes, those killings and that theft — the people in whose name the oppression was done — turn away in disgust when someone seeks to expose it.”
[Utopia is still being shown around the country. Screenings will be held in Perth and Newcastle on March 13, in Armidale and the University of Technology Sydney on March 18, in Newcastle on March 21 and Wollongong on April 1. Click here for a full list of screenings.]