Bourke is a place that exists on the edge of civilisation, and at the edge of Australia’s collective memory. When you visit this part of Australia, and really see it, it will speak to you. In a modern context, Bourke represents one of those places that sees ‘Boom and Bust’ on an almost seasonal basis. An abandoned place. Littered with memories and old stories. But when you look closely, you see that life is everywhere. Impossibly beautiful. Life hibernates. Life adapts. The people of Bourke Shire are more resilient than the rest of us. After the Europeans arrived, Aboriginal people in Bourke were taken away, and others were brought here, to live in the missions. Today there are more than 20 tribes and clans represented in the region, so identity is a problem for a lot of Aboriginal people. Is this my place? Or is this your place? Have a think about what that must feel like.
Lifeblood is a film about the intersection of place, history, and our identity. Who are we as Australians? We are disconnected from our true cultural identity. We don’t understand our environment, and therefore we don’t know how to protect the delicate equilibriums that have existed for millions of years on our planet. Bourke people are more closely connected with the way our planet is changing. People suffer when the river is low. Businesses go bankrupt because of the drought. People change their livelihoods accordingly. We ignore the truth, and an entire culture that flourished for hundreds of thousands of years slowly dies. Why do we ignore these truths? Where are we rushing to? Stop and look. Stay a while, and you will see.