Ten Canoes


Ten Canoes

Critics Consensus

Ten Canoes combines adventure, comedy, and anthropology to explore an Aborigine folk tale both fallibly human and legendary. Helmer Rolf de Heer depicts a barely represented oral tradition with a clean style.



Reviews Counted: 65

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Reviews Count: 0
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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

A fusion of Yolngu and Western mythologies, set in Arnhem Land 120 years ago, the story tells a Yolngu tale before the first white contact.


Crusoe Kurddal
as Ridjimiraril
Jamie Gulpilil
as Dayindi/Yeeralparil
Peter Djigirr
as Canoeist/The Victim/Warrior
Peter Minygululu
as Minygululu
Johnny Buniyira
as Canoeist/Warrior
Michael Dawu
as Canoeist/The Stranger
David Gulpilil
as The Storyteller
Julie Djelrr
as Camp Woman
Valerie Malibirr
as Camp Woman
Rico Pascoe
as Honey Boy/Messenger
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Critic Reviews for Ten Canoes

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (28)

Audience Reviews for Ten Canoes


Surprisingly frank and irreverent.

Robert Fearon
Robert Fearon

Super Reviewer


Philosophy of the wise and of the Methuselah.Now really,the ancient language fashion is withering,yes?Unless you bring a true auteur with the name of Rolf de Heer and condemn Mr. Gibson to eternal damnation.Pure and locomotive direction and the b/w interaction with the vibrant antique era is engaging to the folktale narration.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

Simple aboriginal tales of their ancestors' tribes, with typical humour.

Ross Collins
Ross Collins

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Ten Canoes" starts with a narrator(David Gulpilil) telling a story about his ancestors. Minygululu(Peter Minygululu), husband to three wives, is taking his younger brother, Dayindi(Jamie Gulpilil), to the swamps for a goose hunt for the first time. Minygululu knows that his brother has an eye on his youngest wife, so he tells him about two of his ancestors, Ridjimiraril(Crusoe Kurddal) and Yeeralparil(Jamie Gulpilil), who were in a similar situation.[/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Two Canoes" is a beautiful exploration of the oral tradition of storytelling in Aboriginal culture.(The film is alternately shot in bleached out colors.) This is how information is related from one generation to the next. For example, Minygululu is not only teaching his younger brother about how to hunt in the swamps but also to be patient and never to do anything rash. In other words, all he has to do is wait and he will get what he wants. Remember in this society, everything is as it has been for thousands of years and will be the same for years to come. Nothing is going anywhere. And if all of that sounds very dry, do not worry. There is enough irreverence to go around for everyone.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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