Yurlu | Country: Photo by Tom Bannigan
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Yurlu | Country

Follows Banjima elder, Maitland Parker whose final wish is to heal a landscape devastated by mining. The Country that once nourished him has made him terminally ill.

Directed by Yaara Bou Melhem
Produced by Lisa Main
Co-Produced by Maitland Parker



What was once a life-sustaining environment for Maitland Parker and his ancestors is now a toxic waste dump. The Wittenoom (Nambigunnha) Gorge Asbestos Mine in Western Australia was abandoned more than 60 years ago, but left behind millions of tons of deadly asbestos. What was once ‘Yurlu’ (Country) is now what Maitland calls ‘poison country’.

Diagnosed with mesothelioma, he too has been poisoned. In a journey that traverses deep-time, we tell the stories of this ancient land through the symbiotic connection between community and country. Intimate moments with Maitland and his family are contrasted with expansive cinematography of the other major character in the film — the stunning Pilbara landscape. This is Maitland’s last stand to protect the health of his family, his culture and to write his final chapter as he fights for rehabilitation of his scarred lands.

Photos: Tom Bannigan