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Manganinnie is an AFI Award-winning 1980 film which follows the journey of Manganinnie, a Tasmanian Aboriginal woman who searches for her tribe with the company of a young, lost white girl named Joanna. Based on Beth Roberts' novel of the same name, it was directed by John Honey and was the first feature film to be financed by the short-lived Tasmanian Film Corporation.

Manganinnie 1980 Film.png
Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed byJohn Honey
Produced byGilda Baracchi
Written byKen Kelso
Beth Roberts (novel)
StarringMawuyul Yanthalawuy
Anna Ralph
Music byPeter Sculthorpe
CinematographyGary Hansen
Edited byMike Woolveridge
Distributed byGUO
Umbrella Entertainment
Release date
Australia 15 August 1980 (1980-08-15)
Running time
90 minutes



During the Black War of 1830 in Van Diemen's Land, Manganinnie journeys across vast mountains and rivers towards the coast in search of her vanished tribe. She finds Joanna, a white girl, along her way. The pair develop a bond for each other even without a common language. Ultimately however, Manganinnie comes to realise that her people and tribal way of life has been destroyed by the British colonists.


Filming started 12 November 1979 and took five weeks.[2]



Despite the grim subject matter the film recovered its costs and made a small profit.[3]


See alsoEdit


Anna Ralph who played the little white girl is now an Assoc Prof of infectious diseases working at Royal Darwin Hospital looking after patients, including Aborigines.


  1. ^ Connolly, Keith (1994). Oxford Australian Film 1978 - 1994. Oxford University Press. Page 62
  2. ^ a b David Stratton, The Last New Wave: The Australian Film Revival, Angus & Robertson, 1980 p320
  3. ^ David Stratton, The Avocado Plantation: Boom and Bust in the Australian Film Industry, Pan MacMillan, 1990 p35
  4. ^ - AFI AWARD WINNERS: FEATURE CATEGORIES 1958-2010 Archived 19 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit