My Name Is Gulpilil is the life story of, and narration by legendary Indigenous actor David Gulpilil as he struggles in his senior years against seemingly terminal lung cancer and its debilitating effects and treatments.
This documentary is an unvarnished account of David’s life starting out as “full-blood” boy hunting, tracking, and dancing in Arnhem Land, to his ‘discovery’ by a British filmmaker and subsequent tour of Europe – after starring as lead role in the ground-breaking film, Walkabout at age 14; meeting the Queen of England; smoking ganja with Dennis Hopper, and a litany of many other exciting experiences.
Gulpilil is vulnerable, charismatic, hilarious, and captivating in this intimate memoir as he candidly contemplates his own death, and importantly, his wishes to be buried at his home country in Arnhem Land amongst his ancestors; an underscored theme throughout the film.
My Name Is Gulpilil is hard-hitting and unapologetic; David Gulpilil is an Indigenous trailblazer and Australian icon, and this will be his magnum opus legacy.
Reviewed by Jarrod Wolfhunter