Arts / Culture / Film

Tim Swallow’s new intimate film, ‘Waterhole’ with Hunter Page-Lochard touches on coming of age rituals

hunter page-lochard

Indigenous Australian actor and Bangarra dancer Hunter Page-Lochard goes walkabout to a Waterhole. The sun sets as he steps, dynamically, closer to a still, reflective body of water. A traditional journey, a rite of passage, and a spiritual transition in Indigenous culture, Page-Lochard's words echo through the visuals.

“My name is black, brown, yellow, white, and blue. It’s dad, brother, cousin and uncle. It’s native, Indigenous, Western, and savage. It’s the land, mountains, sea and rivers." He says as he reaches the water, the shallow pool spanning in front of him, yellow earth underfoot. "It’s the sun, moon, and all the stars. It’s rich, it's poor, struggling, successful and inspired.” He continues. "It’s thought provoking, ego stroking, confronting and harsh."

It’s love, hate, anger and greed. It’s you, me, and everyone else.” he says as the music builds and momentum grows in his movements, spinning and crouching and bending as the sky grows darker.

The words "My name is Hunter Page-Lochard, and I am human." echo in the rippling water as Page-Lochard collapses into the earth, lying with his face to the stars. He tells of his life, who he is, external perceptions of his being and the essence that regardless of race or gender - he ,and we, are all human.

"I have known Hunter Page-Lochard for around 10 years now and regard him as a good friend." Director Tim Swallow tells us on the project. "Years ago he invited me to see Bangarra at the Sydney Opera House - in which he was playing the lead role. The set design, musical score and Indigenous dance was a cultural experience and the show simply blew me away. I was so impressed with Hunter's raw and effortless talent.

We later caught up and discussed shooting together. Time went by and our little project laid dormant until late last year when we both found some time to collaborate. Whether it was due to Covid-19 or the BLM movement, we both felt like now was the time to tell 'his' story."

We searched for the perfect location on the south coast and the ideas flowed naturally. Hunter wrote the script and shared his late uncle - David Page's score 'Waterhole' for the clip. I wrangled a nimble film crew and with the talented eye of my business partner, D.O.P, Ed Triglone we produced our short dance piece.
Personally I haven't really seen many pieces like this before and feel it's important for Australians to explore, understand and embrace the traditions of the original custodians of this country. Always was, always will be Aboriginal Land. " He says.

Watch the full film below.

Waterhole from Lagoon on Vimeo.

We would like to pay our respects to the Jerrinja people, the original custodians of the Culburra & Lake Wollumboola region. To their elders past, present and emerging. Always was, always will be Aboriginal land.

In loving memory of the late David Page.

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