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Region: Oceania

History's Turning Points

  • Director: Patrick Fleming
  • Release Date: 1997
  • Production Country: United Kingdom

Momentous battles and other events in history are examined and re-imagined to determine their historical impact.

Islam: Empire of Faith

  • Director: Robert H. Gardner
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Production Country: United States

Founded by the prophet Mohammed in the late 6th century CE, Islam became one of the world's major religions, most especially in the Mediterranean world where it helped create and consolidate the Ottoman Empire, one of the largest and longest lasting empires in history.

Ned Kelly

  • Director: Gregor Jordan
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Production Country: Australia, United Kingdom, United States, France

Unjustly accused of horse stealing after his sister refuses the attentions of a local constable, Ned Kelly goes on the run with his gang, all becoming heroes of the local Irish immigrant community. But while they can evade the law and escape bank robberies unscathed, they cannot escape the treachery of their own friends.

O le tulafale (The Orator)

  • Director: Tusi Tamasese
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Production Country: New Zealand, Samoa

Denied his hereditary chieftainship because of his small stature, Saili deals with daily harassment from his family and personal humiliation dished out by his fellow villagers. But when his wife's past returns to haunt them, Saili must find a way to protect those he loves within the same community traditions that have not only ostracized him, but also placed his family outside the community's protections.

Ogú y Mampato en Rapa Nui (Ogu and Mampato in Rapa Nui)

  • Director: Alejandro Rojas
  • Release Date: 2002
  • Production Country: Chile

With Ogu, his caveman friend, Mampato time travels to the ancient world of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), where they meet a young girl who teaches them about the traditional culture and history of her people and eventually draws Mampato and Ogu into the islanders' battle for freedom from an overbearing, supernaturally powered king.

Oh, What a Blow That Phantom Gave Me!

  • Director: John Bishop, Harald Prins
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Production Country: United States

Some indigenous peoples welcome film and other Western recording technologies as a way to educate people and preserve their traditions; some Native Americans in the United States, though, refuse to allow their sacred traditions to be recorded, preferring their possible loss to the intrusion. If film is both a means of preserving vanishing traditions and one of the architects of its destruction, can its impact on these cultures be truly measured?

Once Were Warriors

  • Director: Lee Tamahori
  • Release Date: 1994
  • Production Country: New Zealand

As their children come of age in the slums of Auckland, New Zealand, a Maori family comes apart. Their Maori traditions and heritage do not easily adapt to the city lifestyle and a world built by a vastly different culture, and hopelessness, alcoholism, gangs, and abuse end up marring the lives of Jake and Beth and their children.

Pear ta ma 'on maf (The Land Has Eyes)

  • Director: Vilsoni Hereniko
  • Release Date: 2004
  • Production Country: United States, Fiji

Clever and imaginative, Viki is a misfit in a community that honors hard work and tradition over all. When neighbors conspire to take away her father's farm, Viki takes the Warrior Woman, from tales of their people's history, as her inspiration and is determined to overcome the trials before her on her own terms.

PT 109

  • Director: Leslie H. Martinson
  • Release Date: 1963
  • Production Country: United States

Making use of his father's political influence, young John F. Kennedy gets himself assigned to command a PT Boat in the Solomon Islands during World War II. Given an old, broken boat, Kennedy must both repair his boat and prove to the men he serves with that he is not just a glory hound, but a commander worth serving with.

Rabbit-Proof Fence

  • Director: Phillip Noyce
  • Release Date: 2002
  • Production Country: Australia

Three young Aboriginal girls escape an internment camp and flee across the Australian Outback to get back home.

Racism: A History

  • Director: Paul Tickell
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Production Country: United Kingdom

In the 19th century, much of the western leadership and intelligentsia embraced eugenics, a 'science' that 'proved' their racial superiority–and that wreaked havoc on three non-European continents.

River Queen

  • Director: Vincent Ward
  • Release Date: 2005
  • Production Country: New Zealand

A young Irish woman, Sarah, follows her half-Maori son when his father's family takes him and ends up finding both a home and a purpose in their Maori village, especially after her rudimentary medical skills save the village's chief. But Sarah's comfortable new life is threatened when the chief declares war on nearby European settlements and she learns her son is determined to prove himself in battle against men she knows, including some she still considers friends.

Snowtown

  • Director: Justin Kurzel
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Production Country: Australia

Lonely and isolated, young Jamie gravitates toward charismatic John Bunting when he helps Jamie and his younger brothers take revenge on their neighbor for abusing and exploiting them. Afterwards, though, Jamie needs a moral touchstone and is drawn into Bunting's brutal world of homophobia and violence.

Stolen

  • Director: Violeta Ayala, Dan Fallshaw
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Production Country: Australia

Intending to shoot a film about a woman reunited with her family through a U.N. program, two Australians stumble across what seems to be a racially-based system of slavery fully endorsed by the rebel group that governs the camps. When they begin to investigate this discovery, there is an immediate backlash from the rebels and the filmmakers are forced to bury their film in the sand and flee for their lives, hoping that they will be able to retrieve their evidence at some future point.

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

  • Director: Fred Schepisi
  • Release Date: 1978
  • Production Country: Australia

Equality is in the eye of the beholder, but when Jimmie's white, civilized neighbors refuse to see him as their equal, Jimmie Blacksmith becomes the wild, unrestrained savage they always "knew" he was.

The First Australians

  • Director: Rachel Perkins
  • Release Date: 2008
  • Production Country: Australia

In the late 18th century, the world's largest empire, Britain, landed on the shores of a land claimed by the world's oldest culture; the rest is history, told here from the point of view of the colonized.

The Lost Gods of Easter Island

  • Director: Kate Broome
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Production Country: United Kingdom

The lineage of an artifact purchased at an English auction illuminates the relatively unknown history of the Easter Island inhabitants.

The Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey

  • Director: Vincent Ward
  • Release Date: 1988
  • Production Country: Australia, New Zealand

To save their village from the Black Death, fourteenth-century miners follow a young boy whose visions lead them to dig a tunnel to modern Christchurch, New Zealand.

The Pacific

  • Director: Jeremy Podeswa, Timothy Van Patten, David Nutter
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Production Country: United States

Two marines serve in the Pacific Theatre in World War II, a part of the war that is very different from the fighting in Europe. Faced with long ocean voyages between islands, intense fighting in jungle heat, and coral islands where they are unable to even dig latrines, the soldiers also must cope with disease, fear, and filth as they fight an enemy that they do not understand—and one they fear will never give up, no matter the cost to the soldiers on either side.

The Proposition

  • Director: John Hillcoat
  • Release Date: 2005
  • Production Country: Australia, United Kingdom

Captain Stanley makes a deal with outlaw Charlie Burns: kill his own older brother, the leader of their gang, and Charlie's younger, simple-minded brother will not hang. What follows is a violent tale of retribution, revenge, and singularly bad decision making, all highlighting the brutality of the white settlers as they attempt to "civilize" the land.

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