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Netflix has acquired Australia and New Zealand streaming rights to Western Australian Indigenous documentary, Our Law, which will premiere on the streaming platform from this Sunday.
The impressive Netflix sale is a first for producers Taryne Laffar of PiNK PEPPER and Sam Bodhi Field of Periscope Pictures, who were blown away when their 27-minute documentary attracted international media attention upon its world premiere at the virtual edition of Sydney Film Festival 2020, television premiere on NITV and Western Australian premiere in real life at CinefestOZ 2020.
“As an Indigenous woman, I extend a deep thanks to Netflix as their acquisition of Our Law acknowledges and supports us and our stories. Everyone who contributed to making this happen – please be proud! We made a documentary that is changing hearts and minds and will quite possibly aid in saving (and growing respect for) Indigenous peoples and culture – so a very heartfelt thank you for being with Sam, Cornel and I on this journey.” said Laffar.
“We’re incredibly proud to be involved in this timely exploration of the role Indigenous officers play in rebuilding fractured Aboriginal-police relations, and of the raw power of policing with respect for language and culture.” said Field.
Written and directed by Cornel Ozies, Our Law follows two Noongar police officers, Senior Sergeant Revis Ryder and Sergeant Wendy Kelly, as they police one of the most remote beats in the world, Warakurna, home to an Indigenous community still practicing the lore of one of the world’s oldest living cultures. Ryder and Kelly learn Yarnangu Lore and culture and master the local Ngaanyatjarra language, in an attempt to gain trust and replace the historical black and white law enforcement approach of the past.
Warakurna is Western Australia’s first and only Indigenous-run police station. Speaking the local Aboriginal language or learning about how the Law intersects with Aboriginal Lore have never before been considered as police responsibilities or strategies.
WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson recently issued an apology on behalf of the WA Police Force to Indigenous people, acknowledging that past wrongful actions have caused immeasurable pain and suffering, and that police actions have significantly contributed to a traumatic Indigenous history.
Laffar and Field hope that creating awareness of Warakurna police station across Australia and New Zealand could be the start of a radically different approach and could pave the way for Indigenous-run police stations across both countries.
Our Law has also secured development investment from Screen Australia’s Indigenous Department for a 6-part series which is currently in development across Western Australia.