NZIFF: Gurrumul

1 hr. 36 min. | Rated Exempt |

Starring: Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, Mark Grose

“A profound and transporting songline… Paul Damien Williams’ poignant film captures the singular qualities – both as an artist and a man – of Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, the widely celebrated aboriginal Australian musician known for soulful tenor vocals that blended his traditional cultural heritage and Yolngu language with Western folk, gospel and classical elements. Approaching its reclusive subject with unerring respect, the elegantly composed doc mirrors the gentle power and ethereal hush of Gurrumul’s singing.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

“Formerly a member of Yothu Yindi and Saltwater Band, Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, who was blind from birth and passed away last year at age 46, released his first solo album in 2008. He sang mostly in the Indigenous languages of the Gumatj, Galpu and Djambarrpuyngu people, and attracted immense global acclaim, including being hailed by Rolling Stone as ‘Australia’s most important voice’…

The ultra-reticent singer did not enjoy talking to the media, to put it lightly… In one sense the documentary is limited by Gurrumul’s elusive and mysterious personality… But in another, more exciting and liberating sense, it is freed from clichés we often see in portraits of musicians and shoots off in different directions – among them a focus on family, community and land…

For Gurrumul fans, the film is obviously a must-see. For those unfamiliar, or vaguely familiar with his work, it’s an even greater treat: they will be entertained, enthralled, perhaps in some small way changed.” — Luke Buckmaster, The Guardian

Trailer

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Poster of NZIFF: Gurrumul