Karrabing Film Collective: The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland

The futuristic film ›The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland‹ (2018) presents us with a dystopian scenario in which the Australian land appears dead and barren as an effect of the ravages of capitalism; unlike the local population, Europeans settlers are no longer able to survive outdoors. The protagonist is a young indigenous man, Aidan, who had been snatched from his family as a baby to serve a medical experiment meant to save the white population. Once released, he travels the landscape of his ancestors in company of his father and brother; here, he is confronted with two possible versions of the future and the past. The film takes a stance on current debates on the effects of climate change, capitalism, and industrial toxicity from the perspective of the Aboriginal peoples of Australia and recalls the Australian government’s human rights abuses in relation to the Stolen Generation – the children of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent who were removed from their families by the Australian federal and state government agencies and church missions until the 1970s.