One Hundred and Fifty Spears, Ten Canoes, Three Wives… Trouble. An extraordinary & ground-breaking comic parable about forbidden love from Rolf de Heer & the Yolgnu people of Ramingining.

Director: Rolf de Heer in collaboration with the Yolgnu people of Ramingining
Cast: Crusoe Kurddal, Jamie Gulpilil
Duration: 103 mins
Country of Origin: Australia

MModerate violence, Naturalistic nudity


“Anthropology and entertainment are marvelously married in Rolf de Heer’s Ten Canoes. The first feature in an Australian Aboriginal language feels authentic to the core as it tells a cautionary tale set 1,000 years ago.”
Richard Kuipers, VARIETY

“A marvel of warm collaboration and shared jokes about husbands and wives, shot both in dreamscape colour and pristine black and white.”

“Its mixture of wisdom and whimsy — exemplified by the movie’s unnamed and occasionally cheeky narrator — makes this Australian movie feel as timeless as it is timely. And instead of feeling dutifully cultural as we immerse ourselves in this story, we’re genuinely intrigued, touched and even amused.”

One Hundred and Fifty Spears, Ten Canoes, Three Wives… Trouble.

‘Bout time to tell you a story, eh? Then I’ll tell you one of ours…

 It is longtime ago. It is our time, before you other mob came from cross the ocean… Longtime before then. The rain’s been good and ten of the men go on the swamp, to hunt the eggs of gumang, the magpie goose. One of the men, the young fella, has a wrong love, so the old man tell him a story… A story of the ancient ones, them wild and crazy ancestors who come after the spirit time, after the flood that covered the whole land…

It’s a good story, this story I’m gonna be tellin’ you… ‘Bout the ancient ones. There’s more wrong love in this story, and plenty spears too, and plenty wives… Too many wives if you ask me… A beautiful young one and a bit of a jealous one and the older wise one and even more wives than that.

 And there’s plenty happens in this story… There’s a stranger comes and one of them wives goes missin’ and there’s a man with a belly big as a mountain. There’s sorcery and magic too, and a wrong spear in the wrong body, and more spears and bad spirits. And even that’s not everything that’s happening in this story.

Ahh, you gotta see this story of mine cause it’ll make you laugh, even if you’re not a blackfella. Might cry a bit too eh? But then you laugh some more… Cause this story is a big true story of my people. True thing.

Ten Canoes