The Films

For Individual Purchases of "When the Dogs Talked"


For Institutional Purchases of "When the Dogs Talked"


for inquiries write:



The Karrabing screen "Dogs" at the Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne and the Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane and discuss country and lives with intellectualy, film critics and artist/film-makers like Denise De Silva, Richard Bell, Tom Nicholson, and Nikos Papastergiadis.

e-flux journal features clips and conversations among collective members and publishes a conversation about the film with Audra Simpson, Elizabeth A. Povinelli, and Liza Johnson.

see Karrabing Film Collective members talk about filmmaking behind the scenes.


The Karrabing recently completed their second major film project, When the Dogs Talked. See the latest on their ABC Open Blog and Stay Tuned for more news about film events at The Gertrude in Melbourne and the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane.

SYNOPSIS As a group of Indigenous adults argue about whether to save their government housing or their sacred landscape, their children struggle to decide how the ancestral Dreaming makes sense in their contemporary lives. Listening to music on their ipods, walking though bush lands, and boating across seas, they follow their parents on a journey to reenact the travel of the Dog Dreaming. Along the way individuals run out of stamina and boats out of gas, and the children press their parents and each other about why these stories matter and how they make sense in the context of Western understandings of evolution, the soundscapes of hip hop, and the technologies of land development. “When the Dogs Talked” mixes documentary and fiction to produce a thoughtful yet humorous drama about the everyday obstacles of structural and racialized poverty and the dissonance of cultural narratives and social forms.

Written and Performed by the Karrabing Film Collective

CAST Camboy…Cameron Bianamu; Gavin…Gavin Bianamu; Sheree…Sheree Jane Bianamu; Taleesh…Taleesh Bianamu; Trevor…Trevor Bianamu; Kelvin…Kelvin Bigfoot; Marcia…Marcia Bigfoot; Over…Rex Edmunds; Ryan…Ryan Gordon; House Inspector #1…Claude Holtze; Daryl…Daryl Lane,; Paul…Paul Lane; Robyn…Robyn Lane; Sharon…Sharon Lane; Angie…Angelina Lewis;Gigi…Cecilia Lewis; Serina…Serina Lippo; Housing Assistant…Joslyn McDonald; Cassie…Cassandra Sing; Kerin…Kerin Sing;Shannon…Shannon Sing; Suntu…Rex Sing; Gudji…Claude Yarrowin; Daphne…Daphne Yarrowin; Linda…Linda Yarrowin; Rossie…Roger Yarrowin; Sandra…Sandra Yarrowin; Housing Boss…Tess Lea.

CREW Elizabeth A. Povinelli: Director; Liza Johnson: Co-Director; Ian Jones: Director of Photography (1st Unit); Tim Wood: Director of Photography (2nd Unit); Alana Branch: 1st Assistant Camera; David Barker: Editor; Harry Yoon, Ron Dulin: Additional Editors; Chris Healy: Sound (1st Unit); Ian Redfearn, Sound (2nd Unit); Tess Lea and Liza Johnson: Producers; Leandros Ntounis: Sound Designer & Editor; Kostos Varybopiotis: Sound re-cording Mixer; Aly Migliori: Color & Title FX; Elizabeth A. Povinelli: Subtitles; Mike Uguccioni: Special Effects; Greg Moo: Logistics; Sandra Yarrowin, Rex Edmunds, Gavin Bianamu, Paul Lane, Taleesh Bianamu, and Ben Williams: Location Managers





"Karrabing, Low Tide Turning" shown in Madagascar at Berlinale Abroad

"Karrabing, Low Tide Turning" shown in Vietnam at Berlinale Shorts Goes Exterior

"Karrabing, Low Tide Turning" was featured in ABC 7:30 NT Report.

"Karrabing, Low Tide Turning" has been selected by the Wexner Center's exhibition space for video, the Box, which will screen the film continuously seven days a week for the month of May 2012.

Karrabing Indigenous Corporation's Production "Karrabing, Low Tide Turning" has been invited to the prestigious Berlinale, Shorts Competition.

          See the Cast & Writers greeting the Berlinale!

          Listen to members discuss the film on ABC Drive with Vicki Kerrigan 

          Listen to Elizabeth Povinelli discuss the film on EYES IN Magazine


Low Tide Turning
A film by the Karrabing Indigenous Corporation
In conjunction with  Liza Johnson and Elizabeth A. Povinelli 
14:10 minutes
Format, HDcam
Contact Information:
Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Public Officer, Karrabing Indigenous Corporation
250 West 27th Street
Apt 4C
New York, New York 10001 USA
Mobile +1-917-622-5926
In the Northern Territory of Australia, an extended Indigenous family attempts to track down
a missing family member so as not to loose their government housing. As they move back and
forth between the suburban ghetto where they live and a remote landscape where they are
trying to establish an outstation, they run up against the everyday obstacles of structural and
racialized poverty.
Writing and Production Process:
Karrabing! Low Tide Turning is a grassroots film, conceived and written by the Karrabing
Indigenous Corporation, that seeks to capture the complex contours and settings of Australian
Indigenous life beyond prevalent stereotypes of “authentic” mythological primitives or
assimilated, urban, drug-addled welfare recipients. The Karrabing Indigenous Corporation
was established in 2008 and whose purpose to express their hope that a way of life can be
found that joins together indigenous and non-indigenous aspirations for a culturally diverse,
economically sustainable, and environmentally rich future. Their lived experience and that of
many contemporary indigenous Australians mixes what appears to outsiders as traditional
and modern ways of seeing and experiencing the world by what is for them simply everyday
life. Over twenty-six years ago, the parents and grandparents of current corporation members
recruited Povinelli to work with them on a highly contested land claim. She has continued to
work with their families ever since. Karrabing and Povinelli recruited Liza Johnson because of
her films like South of Ten and In the Air, in which she works with nonprofessional performers to
reflect on contemporary social, environmental and economic disasters through the temporality
of the everyday rather than the spectacular. Adapting Augusto Boal’s techniques of Theatre
of the Oppressed, the Karrabing, Povinelli and Johnson conceived, improvised and critiqued
various narrative scenarios, affective registers, and character studies in order to capture the
awkward hope for contemporary spaces of Indigenous life where dreams are many, humor
abundant, but social and personal success is often measured by nothing more than the
resilience of making it through the day.
Directors Bios:
Liza Johnson is an artist and filmmaker. She received her BA from Williams College in 1992 and
her MFA from the University of California, San Diego in 1996. Her work has been exhibited
internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the Museum of Modern Art,
the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker Art Center, and the Centre Pompidou, as well as
the Cannes, New York, Berlin, and Rotterdam Film Festivals, among many others. She has been
a fellow of the DAAD Berliner Kunstlerprogramm and the Sundance Institute, and is currently
releasing the fiction feature RETURN, starring Linda Cardellini and Michael Shannon. She is
currently Professor of Art at Williams College.
Elizabeth A. POVINELLI is an academic and cultural critic. She received a BA in philosophy and
mathematics at St Johns College, Santa Fe, 1984 and PhD in Anthropology at Yale University,
1991. She is the author of four books, most recently, The Empire of Love and The Economies of
Abandonment, and has been an invited visitor at Cambridge University, the American Academy
in Berlin, The Franklin Humanities Center at Duke University. She was editor of Public Culture
from 2000 to 2004 and is a founding member of Karrabing Indigenous Corporation. She is
currently Professor of Anthropology and Gender Studies at Columbia University.
Principle Cast:
Also featuring, Linda YARROWIN, Rex SING, Shannon SING, Robyn LANE, Trevor BIANAMU,
Ricky BIANAMU, Sherri BIANAMU, Gavin BIANAMU, Taleesh BIANAMU, Marcia BIGFOOT, Kelvin
BIGFOOT, Ryan BIGFOOT, Sharon LANE, Serina Lane, Daphne YARROWIN, Ethan YARROWIN,
Directors: Liza Johnson and Elizabeth A. Povinelli
Scriptwriter: Karrabing Indigenous Corporation
Producer: Tess Lea
Director of Photography: Tim Wood
Sound Recordist: Ian Redfearn