1994, 58 Minutes
Tells the story of the crash of a US bomber through the diary of a survivor and the songs and dances of the Yanyuwa people who searched for the plane.
On 1 December 1942, a US bomber called Little Eva was returning to base after a bombing raid over New Guinea. The plane hit a tropical storm and crashed at Moonlight Creek in the southeast corner of the Gulf of Carpentaria, in Australia's far north. The events that followed were recorded both in the journal of an American survivor and in a spectacular corroboree created by the Yanyuwa people who searched for Little Eva and her crew.
Aeroplane Dance dramatises the Americans' struggle to survive in an unfamiliar land, a place they experienced as hostile and desolate. The Yanyuwa remember searching a land of plenty, a place peopled not only by the living but also by the spirits of their ancestors. In a rare performance of the corroboree, they evoke their experience of the crash and the ensuing hunt for survivors.
Aeroplane Dance brings together American and Yanyuwa tales of war, with drama, song and dance. It is a film about survival, storytelling and the creation of legends.
Director: Trevor Graham
Principal Cast: Bill Ten Eyck, Tamblyn Lord, Simon Wilton, Sean Lanhams, Russell Fletcher, William McInnes, Leonard Norman
Running Time: 58 Minutes
Classification: Exempt from classification
Curriculum Links: Indigenous Studies, Dance, Studies of Religion, Society & Culture, SOSE/HSIE, History - of particular relevance to NSW History Stage 5 Topic 4 'Australia and World War II - What were some of the experiences of Australians as a result of their involvement in the war?', English, Media, Performing & Visual Arts.