‘Mabo’ is an Austalian TV film which was released in 2012 which depicts the life of Eddie koiki Mabo utilizing narrative techniques and elements in which a typical drama consists of. Eddie Koiki Mabo is played by Jimi Bani and his wife Bonita/Netta Mabo was played by Deborah Mailman, the film was directed my Rachel Perkins and produced by BlackfellaFilms and the ABC. The principal story of Eddie’s journey from an exiled Murray islander to a justice fighter employed a conventional narrative flow, as well as a secondary narrative component of Eddie and Netta’s relationship, however do these two concepts of the film relate to one other. The story of Eddie Mabo’s success for the fight for freedom and justice was effectively shown over a 40 year time span yet is it clear that Eddie Koiki Mabo could not have succeeded without Netta? I am puzzled upon this question as there are many different facts and points that are indirectly raised during the film which are based on; the courage within Eddie himeself, Eddie and Netta’s children, and Eddie’s experiences before he met Netta.
Throughout Australian history we have seen many acts of men and women fighting for the entitlements of the indigenous people however the most respected and recognized of these is Eddie Mabo whom of which stood up for the rights of his people from a very young age all the way to his death. Mabo battled for the right to own his land which he had inherited and with that came a directive to change the policies and laws of the government. One of the many ways he accomplishes these tasks and gains success is by courage. Eddie had courage from a young age which made him able to accomplish many objectives throughout his life time even before he met Netta and we see this just before he gets exiled from Murray Island. Killoran wanted Eddie to work on his green truck however Eddie has the courage to turn down this offer. “im not going to work as a slave”.
However when Netta was involved in Eddie’s life we still see a lack of her support in some cases as she does not have the same will power and courage as Eddie. When Eddie first wanted to stand for his kind and make a change to the indigenous people, Netta did not support him from the beginning, ‘black causes now ive heard it all”. Nevertheless she may not have always agreed with Kioki but she always managed to stand by his side and support him in every way she could, e.g the marches. So with that we establish that it was Eddie’s courage who led him to his victory however he did have support during the course of his journey. Even though MABO could be pictured as a film about a man and a woman who saw great injustice and tried to change it, the theme could also be a personal cost of a public campaign to a family who have inadequate financial means and only love and determination to get them through.
Netta and Eddie are both hard working people who make an effort to try and get things done and through their pride and determination they are able to accomplish great things. Eddie fights for the rights and pride of his people while Netta stands by his side as well as constantly supporting the children by looking after them and working to provide food for them. Eddie was a focused and determined man and we see this throughout the film, one part was when Netta asked Eddie “what if you don’t win”, Eddie replies “DON’T YOU DARE!.” Perkins purposely put this scene it to show the dedication and resilience Eddie Mabo had in order to gain justice for his people, however Eddie would not be able to accomplish such tasks if it wasn’t for the strength and provisional care that Netta had for his children. Therefore without Netta’s assistance with the children Eddie couldn’t have been able to successfully focus on winning the court case for the future of his children.
“People that go to the mainland, they forget everything”. Benny Mabo said this to Eddie before he left Murray Island and it was because of this I think Eddie was so strongly willing to make a change for his people, to make the people from the mainland remember where they were from and to provide for these people with the same benefits as the white men. Eddie’s focus for the benefits of his kind was beyond the imagination of the people around him; even Netta “I’ll give you black causes” was what Netta said when Eddie was explaining about the rights for their people. Eddie’s plan from the beginning, before he met Netta was to make a change, when he was asked to work on Killorian’s green truck and he refused, and it was obvious enough that it was his experiences, with his dad, that encouraged him to have such a mentality. Evidently enough when Eddie was trying to go back to see his dad we see Netta in the cubical looking upon Eddie as he was frustrated because he was unable to see his dad.
This idea of Eddie being alone symbolized that he must accomplish his objectives alone, “IM going to make history”(dining room scene), as he began his journey alone and stood alone at the pier when wanting to go back to Murray Island. Eddie’s idea of change originated from the teachings of his father, as we see the constant flashbacks throughout the film, not because of the involvement with Netta. Rachel Perkins successfully show the story of Eddie Mabo’s success for the fight for freedom and justice was effectively shown over a 40 year time span yet is it clear that Eddie Koiki Mabo could not have succeeded without Netta? This question is highly acceptable upon both sides and views of the argument, based on; the courage within Eddie himeself, Eddie and Netta’s children, and Eddie’s experiences before he met Netta.
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