John Pilger Documentary Film Screening – Utopia

The Global Indigeneity and Reconciliation Program, together with concerned Australians (cA), Arena Publishing and the Global Cities Research Institute is honoured to present the Melbourne premier of John Pilger’s new documentary film ‘Utopia’ on Tuesday, 4 February 2014 (6.30 pm – 9.30 pm).  Two years in the making, Utopia reveals a shocking national secret behind the postcard image of the “lucky country”.

To reserve your place email or phone 03 9415 7164 by 5pm, Friday, 31 January 2014.

This is a free public screening.



Utopia is a vast region in northern Australia and home to the oldest human presence on earth. This film is a journey into that secret country,’ says Pilger in Utopia. ‘It will describe not only the uniqueness of the first Australians, but their trail of tears and betrayal and resistance—from one utopia to another.’ Pilger begins his journey in Sydney, where he grew up, and in Canberra, the nation’s capital, where the national parliament rises in an affluent suburb called Barton, recently awarded the title of Australia’s most advantaged community. Barton is named after Edmund Barton, the first prime minister of Australia, who in 1901 introduced the White Australia Policy. “The doctrine of the equality of man,” said Barton, “was never intended to apply to those who weren’t British and white-skinned.” He made no mention of the original inhabitants who were deemed barely human, unworthy of recognition in the first suburban utopia. One of the world’s best kept secrets is revealed against a background of the greatest boom in mineral wealth. Has the ‘lucky country’ inherited South African apartheid? And how could this happen in the 21st century? What role has the media played? Utopia is both a personal journey and universal story of power and resistance and how modern societies can be divided between those who conform and a dystopian world of those who do not conform. Utopia draws on people and places Pilger first filmed 28 years ago during his long association with the indigenous people of his homeland. The evidence he produces is often deeply moving and shocking.

Utopia is produced by Dartmouth Films and released in association with Network Releasing.



John Pilger

John Pilger is an multi-award winning Australian journalist based in London. Since his early years as a war correspondent in Vietnam, Pilger has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda. Pilger has also been a staunch critic of Australia’s treatment of its indigenous population – the first Australians - and the practices of the mainstream media. In the British print media, he has had a long association with the Daily Mirror, and writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman magazine.

Pilger has twice won Britain’s Journalist of the Year Award. His documentaries, screened internationally, have gained awards in Britain and worldwide. The journalist has also received several honorary doctorates.


Event Details

The screening of this film about Aboriginal Australia will incorporate the launch by Alastair Nicholson of ‘In the Absence of Treaty’, a new book edited by Michele Harris and published by concerned Australians. Joining Alastair on stage will be playwright, scriptwriter and musician, Richard Frankland. A member of the Gunditjmara people in Western Victoria, Richard has worked tirelessly for the Aboriginal Australian cause.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014
6.30 pm – 9.30 pm

RMIT City Campus
Storey Hall Auditorium (Level 5, Building 16)
342-344 Swanston Street
Melbourne  Vic  3000

To reserve your place simply email or phone 03 9415 7164 by 5pm, Friday, 31 January 2014. This is a free public screening.

Download the Event Flyer Here


Audio Recordings from the Event

With thanks to Barry Judd, Alastair Nicholson, Richard Franklin, Kutcha Edwards, Joshua Bond, Daniel Fox and of course Yothu Yindi!