The Red Paper

Dana Claxton

1996, 14:00 minutes, colour, English


An all-aboriginal cast (but for two white actors distilled to the essence of a European male and female) is costumed in a low-budget opulence of flowing gowns, ruffled shirts and buckled boots, powerfully delivering pseudo-Elizabethan dialogue composed of "art thou's"...

The Red Paper asserts a voice of power and interpretation recounting the devastating consequences of colonialism. The European male wears a strait jacket, repeatedly mumbling "I did not know, I did not know", in a familiar contemporary mantra that pleads self proclaimed absolution from guilt by reason of ignorance of history... Claxton irreverently and consciously opts for a lack of historical specificity in favour of a totalizing haunting by history in the present.

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