‘Beyond the Kimberley Coast’
by Ann-Louise Bailey

Beyond the Kimberley Coast is a beautifully filmed documentary of an exploration of the wild north west of Australia and its remarkable human and animal inhabitants.
It is a look at the real Australia as it was before the white man arrived.
A story of survival in the wilderness, Malcolm Douglas, Kim Allen and three tribesmen –Woolagoodja, the old man returning to his tribal grounds for the last time, Numja, a newly initiated member of his tribe learning its traditions, and Tom Wiggen a hunter of today.
It shows how a group can live entirely off the land and sea-spearing fish and digging for water under ground, originally salty but filtered by the sand to become fresh.
Since leaving his job as a stock and station agent in 1964, Malcolm Douglas has built up a relationship for trust and friendship with the tribal Aborigines of Arnhem land and the Kimberleys.
His films involved living with Aborigines and sharing their way of life. He enjoys their food. “Some of the nicest meat I have eaten is goanna – like tender young chicken. Sometimes you have to psyche yourself into eating it because it is largely a question of attitude. We filmed two young Aborigines with a kangaroo they had killed and afterwards they drank the blood. For a second or two I felt strange about it, and then I thought well, its rich protein food and we eat black pudding. They were thirsty, there was no water around.”
Beyond the Kimberley Coast is certainly an enlightening film. It is entertaining as well as informative. The Archives section of the National Library in Canberra has requested a copy to be placed in a temperature and humidity controlled vault to be kept as a visual history of an era near its end-an indication of its excellence.