Yolngu Boy


Caught in a collision between the brave new world of rap, football, street cred and the oldest living culture on earth, Lorrpu, Botj and Milika are three Yolngu teenagers who once shared a childhood dream of becoming great hunters together.

However, things change, dreams become harder to attain. Botj is "walking on the wild side" a lost soul in search of a place. Milika is more interested in football, chicks and hot tracks than any of the traditional knowledge he is being taught. And only Lorrpu seems to care about the dream any more. Their paths are diverging, and he is the only one who can see it.

When Botj goes too far and finds himself on the wrong side of black and white law, Lorrpu must weigh up his own future against saving the future of his friend. He persuades the boys to trek to Darwin to argue Botj's case with Dawu, a tribal leader. Leaving behind their kinship and community, the boys journey through the unforgiving wilderness of North East Arnhem Land to Darwin.

To survive, Lorrpu, Milika and Botj must draw on a combination of the ancient bush knowledge they were taught as boys, Botj's unique street instinct, and most importantly, on the bonds of their friendship.


John Sebastian Pilakui - Lorrpu
Sean Mununggurr - Botj
Nathan Daniels - Milika
Lirrina Mununggur - Yuwan
Makuma Yunupingu - Matjala
Nungki Yunupingu - Dawu
Mangatjay Yunupingu - Maralitja Man
Gurkula - Policeman
Gerard Buyan Garrawurra - Lunginy
Release dates
March 15th, 2001 - Australia
International debut at the Telluride Film Festival in September 2000 (Colorado, US).
Video/DVD release date
August 8, 2001 (video); January 30th, 2002 (DVD)
People's Choice award at the 2001 Zanzibar International Film Festival Bronze Gryphon Award at the Giffoni Film Festival in Italy Young Actor's Award, Australia 2001
MA 15+ - Mature accompanied
Mark Overton

Yolngu is pronounced "yol-noo".


This movie explains the situation of today's Aboriginal people not only to white but also to black people. It was shot entirely in Arnhem Land, Darwin and Kakadu (all in the Northern Territory).

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2019, Yolngu Boy, <>, retrieved 24 October 2020

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