2013, Society  -   29 Comments
Ratings: 8.09/10 from 86 users.

With its grand sweeping vistas and awe-inspiring natural wonders, Australia is the closest you can get to a picture postcard paradise, particularly if you're a member of the wealthy elite. But the country's earliest inhabitants have come to know a different Australia; one that is characterized by intolerance, oppression and the constant threat of extermination. The feature-length documentary Utopia is a sharply observed portrait of their plight, and a rallying cry for all the country's citizens to stand against the grotesque human rights abuses taking place in their own backyard.

The black Aboriginal people of Australia made their home on the land for thousands of years prior to the European invasion of 1788. These invaders showed a flagrant disregard for the rights of these natives to exist, and proceeded to decimate their tribes through violence, concentration camps and the spreading of devastating diseases.

That same sense of deep-seated racism still thrives to this day even if it is hidden in plain sight. The film shows us surveillance video of physical abuses imposed by members of law enforcement, and an interview with one official who advocates for sterilization of the aboriginal race.

The most obvious offenses, however, are apparent from the manner in which the aborigines are forced to exist. The ironically named Utopia is the poorest region in Australia, and contains the largest population of Aboriginal people. That's where the filmmakers station the unflinching gaze of their cameras, and force us to witness firsthand the squalor and despair of their living conditions. The people appear to be dumped, abandoned and all but forgotten by "civilized" society. They lack proper shelter, clean water, public transport, electricity, and access to healthcare and sanitation services. Philanthropic organizations fight to improve the quality of life for the Aboriginal people, but their efforts are frustrated by a lack of awareness among the country's citizens, and an absence of empathy from members of its government.

The Aboriginal tribes of Australia are an irreplaceable part of the country's history, and they must be protected. Unfortunately, the sins of the past continue to define the present. Hopefully, films like the powerful and compassionate Utopia can help to shape a better future.

Directed by: John Pilger, Alan Lowery

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5 years ago

DustUP you and your victimhood are full of ****, they are opressed and deprived from any way fighting back, pilger is just making them visible.

its systemic and a absolute the grasp of capitalism, dont you get it?

you say, let them on their own to fight, but how can they do that if there is no proper food, education, health, and support from the "not racist white australians", how?

you dont get it, cause you are ignorant, but a "refined" one, read more, like, right now.

5 years ago

"I didn't speak up nor stand up for others because it didn't affect me. Then they came for me." (wish I could recall the quoter and quote correctly)

And one day they will come for you. They are saving middle class whites for last. You are the enemy if you desire to be free and to follow your own path. The Collectivists (Marxists, Socialists, Progressives, Communists) will be coming for you (already have for some) if you believe in self determination, self responsibility, self defense, liberty, what is best for the individual will provide the greatest opportunity for all. The american dream, The Constitution, is all rubbish to the Collectivists who think you should sacrifice all "for the greater good" [of those in power].

If you didn't watch towards the end, you will miss another major factor besides prejudice. It was money.

So the usual evil suspects prevail: 1) Greed: Corporate theft of mineral wealth. The wealthy who desire free labor. 2) Ego: The inability of those who cannot accept others who do NOT want to live nor think like them. Thinking that others who don't want to live in the rat race are inferior. Unfortunately, these evils know no bounds and can infect anyone if they are not watchful.

However, it seems clear that the aboriginal culture is much less likely to suffer from these evils than most other cultures. So then which culture is inferior?

Aboriginals, including native americans, belong to the land. However, if they want to have some decent land of their own, they will have to give up alcohol, drugs, depression and get some of their people elected, to make that happen. Complaining or doing nothing clearly isn't working.

If aboriginals want to live as their ancestors did, then they don't need water from a faucet nor air conditioning. However, they do need land.

If they actually do like some of the modern things, they need a reasonable education in order to at least maintain those things they like, to keep them operating. Depending on others to do that for them is inviting disaster, which has proven itself.

The promotion of VICTIMHOOD does what for any group? It gives them an excuse to do nothing and point fingers. Same is true of any group, here or there. This film promotes VICTIMHOOD. It does nothing to help the aboriginals to pull themselves up but just makes people feel sorry for their situation, which is rarely enough to get people to do anything. You can see it in the comments: "Someone should do something." "If I were in charge..." "its so sad, blah blah blah" which does what? Nothing. Clearly they will have to do it for themselves if they want to get anything done.

When they do, THEN, others may come to help. That is how people are wired. No one wants to waste their time, money, and effort on those who are not motivated to help themselves.

If you find yourself planted in a game of political football, it would seem wise to learn how that game is played. That goes for the rest of us, especially those who claim, "I have no interest in politics" since they will seriously affect you whether you like it or not. Unless you can afford to remove yourself to your own island and defend it from pirates and hope that no messed up country uses it for target practice. Not many fit into that category.

All I ask in learning that game is to do independent looking. If a system requires such things as "the ends justifies the means" and "if the people were told the truth of it beforehand, they would never go for it" (the tenets of Collectivism of any flavor [Socialism, Progressive, Communism, Corporatism or Fascism]) then is such worthy of a truth seeker?

6 years ago

I've always heard about how hard things were for Indigenous Australians but never knew how bad it was. This is disgusting and so sad.... eye opening documentary.

6 years ago

John did an amazing, brave job on this..I am thoroughly impressed. I visited Oz two years ago...for 2 months...had a great time..but had I seen this, well, it would have colored my trip on many levels. I thought I wanted to go back...but now? ...

6 years ago

I was most disgusted by the 'richest person in Australia' yelling out 'Ax the Tax'. All the proof needed of absolute corruption and greed. They will not 'share' anything. They are revolting.

6 years ago

Yep, some pretty bad shit has happened to the Kooris, but at what stage do we start to develop a plan to move forward? How many hundreds of millions of dollars more should be spent on such a few and for how long?

6 years ago

As a Native American,and one who also watched Rabbit Proof Fence; The pale-skin will pay for everything they have done. The Most High has stated that in these latter day prophesies, that NO remnants of Edom.Edomites will survive
Consider also that us so called Afro-Americans.black.hispanic.Native American's are Awakening from being the Lost and Scattered Hebrew Israelites. Genesis 25:25 Edom will fall and will be subject to all the Evil that has been done. Including the wrong name and image of Yeshur, who is black. It's good to know that pale-skins are having pregnancy problems, etc. Soon the world will be rid of the Viris and the original people's of the Earth including the animals and resources will be in Peace again. All Glories to The Most High, Yeshur, YAHUAH

6 years ago

Just blows my mind of the sheer ignorance and racism that persevere still in Australia. I came to visit to Australia in the early 80s with my parents- they were looking for an author that wrote the book " a bastard like me" . But somehow they could not find him but instead found that when mentioned this writer in talks to white Australians most seemed surprised why the hell my parents were interested in looking up an Aboriginal person. My parents I remember were shocked at the Racist remarks even within so called "educated" people.

7 years ago

The pure ignorance of so many of my fellow australians in this video astounds me

Clan mwela
7 years ago

I'm devastated , everywhere I look the truth is so painful . America Australia Africa Middle East Indonesia Asia and Europe . It all hurts . And this is just the beginning

7 years ago

As an Australian who witnesses very little of this, and it shocks me how disrespectful a lot of people in this country are. A good portion of Australians are not racist I want to establish that, we are a very multicultural society, but a decent percentage are, generally the more rural and older citizens. One thing that truly shocks me about out country's treatment of its indigenous people is the horrendous fact that we celebrate our national holiday on that of the day the european settlers arrived and the masacre of indigenous people begun. I always believed it was the day that we were federated as a state. The fact that although we do receive a relative amount of education on aboriginal peoples, we still remain oblivious to so many things and remain so disrespectful to the people who originate from this land. My respects to all indigenous people of Australia, and I apologize on the behalf of all those who have ever disrespected you when it was not their position to do so.

7 years ago

When the Earth decides to vomit us out it will not come as a suprise to me. We think that ISIS is just something that has come into being without rhyme or reason but watch a few of these documentaries or luisten to the heart cries of the disinherited and your question why ISIS will be answered! Poor childeren. the sins of the fathers.........!

7 years ago

Deeply disgusting ...

I'm " White " , but I guarantee you that if I was in charge , those responsible for this hellish artificial and unwarranted situation would have to pay the HIGH price !!!

7 years ago

This movie is a great reminder to the black people of the USA. Currently, there is a trend to ceate a new "racial classification" known as MIXED. That is another way to dilute the black and brown races in the USA and guarantee that the white race is able to maintain a status quo of authority and resources without having to put the troops on the streets as Austrailia did. Remember two things about this video. 1. Austrailians are cousins to the white Americas and they learned from lessons of brutality from their mother, ENGLAND. and 2. Those that forget the past are bound to repeat it. The answer for the black problem in Australia is the same for America. Dilute and illuminate the black population and there will not be a problem.

Isabella davis
7 years ago

Heartbreaking deceit ....thought all of that ended after HITLER...BEAUTIFUL to see people embrace the lands and their ancestors ...hopefully one day they will live as it should be...free and happy and with the respect they deserve......

J. Scott
7 years ago

The book "The Global Bell Curve" explains it nicely!

Diane Birkenmeier
7 years ago

So sad...someone needs to stop this. Please!

7 years ago

Australia, home of the most poisonous creatures on the planet ; thanks but not thanks!

7 years ago

If you want your life to change, then you will have to work at changing it.

7 years ago

This is shockingly sad.

7 years ago

This just confirms my assessment that Australians are some of the nicest racists you will ever find.

7 years ago

Terrible situation. Many have problems/questions, few have solutions.

7 years ago

It literally blows my mind how ignorant people are towards the people their ancestors have colonized. White people need to give their heads a shake...

7 years ago

What in a country that still wears mullets!

7 years ago

Man I thought the US was the worst at treating it's indigenous people. Looks like we've been beat!