Satellite BoyOriginal Title: Satellite Boy
Director: Catriona McKenzie
Australia | English
Ten-year-old Pete (Cameron Wallaby) lives with his grandfather Jagamarra (the legendary David Gulpilil of Walkabout
, The Last Wave
fame) on the site of an abandoned drive-in cinema in the remote Kimberly area of Western Australia. Jagamarra tries to teach him traditional Aboriginal skills such as hunting, tracking and looking for water, but Pete just wants his mother, Lynelle, who left for a job in the city, to return and start the restaurant that she promised they would run.
When he is not listening to his grandfather’s stories, Pete tears around the countryside on his homemade bike with his best friend, the energetic smart-mouth Kalmain (Joseph Pedley), getting into a pack of mischief. When developers claim the land where Pete and his grandfather
live, Pete and Kalmain secretly set off across the desert to talk to them face to face. Lost in the bush along the way, Pete must use the skills his grandfather taught him – and which Pete did his best to reject – to save himself. This experience, says director Catriona McKenzie, forces Pete to ‘reassess what matters’.
Balancing modern dilemmas such as Kalmain’s juvenile delinquency and Lynelle’s desire to flee her cultural heritage with the history and spirituality of Aboriginal tradition, Satellite Boy
explores the nature of love and respect between the generations. As McKenzie notes, it is ‘about love, the connections it forges, about homeland, ancestral country and how your spirit guides you to where you really need to be’.
– Alissa Simon