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Eureka Centre supports NAIDOC Week with special screening of Wrong Side of the Road

Photo eCommunity Press.

A special screening of the 1981 film, Wrong Side of the Road, will be held at the Eureka Centre to mark this year’s NAIDOC Week.

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Eureka Centre Ballarat is proud to join forces with the Aboriginal Education Centre at Federation University for the occasion.

The film will be introduced by local Aboriginal musician and educator, Deb Clark, who will also chair a Q&A panel discussion later in the evening.

The low budget, but award-winning feature film, follows two Aboriginal bands – No Fixed Address and Us Mob– for two days on the road across South Australia.

Wrong Side of the Road is the first Australian film to feature a predominantly Aboriginal cast and to explore the lives and identity of urban Aboriginal people, including the Stolen Generation.

Recently restored by the National Film and Sound Archive, Wrong Side of the Road is notable for its innovative combination of drama and documentary, propelled by performances of impassioned songs of struggle and improvised scenes that lend the film a poignant authenticity.

The screening of Wrong Side of the Road will take place at 4pm on Sunday 7 July and will be followed by a panel discussion with No Fixed Address guitarist, Ricky Harrison, and the band’s roadie, Ken Hampton, who both feature in the film.

Ricky Harrison says the film blurs the line between fiction and reality in sharing the life experiences of the different cast members.

“When they’re acting their parts, they’re actually telling their stories”, he says

“There was no dialogue written for the film, rather, the cast members were given scenarios and asked to react to the scene as they would naturally.

“I think the fun part was trying to act, because we’re a band. We were adlibbing what came to mind at the time when we were making the film,” Ricky remembers.

While No Fixed Address was known for its reggae influence and Us Mob for its a harder rock sound, Ricky said the bands shared a similar inspiration.

“We both had the same sort of Aboriginal way of writing songs, about our lives as Aboriginal men, how we saw society and how we were being treated,” he said.

Rick also talks about how times have changed since the film was released 30 years ago.

“I think generally things have gotten better. People aren’t as ignorant as they were before,” he said.

Following the screening, Ricky will join Ken to share their stories about the making of the film and reflect on the cultural impact of the film and its music, both amongst the tight-knit Aboriginal community of Adelaide at the time and Australian society more broadly.

The event is free, but bookings are essential as seats are limited.

For bookings go to: wrongsideoftheroad.eventbrite.com.au