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Dust Echoes: The Bat and the Butterfly (ATOM Study Guide)

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Dust Echoes is a series of twelve beautifully animated dreamtime stories from central Arnhem Land telling stories of love, loyalty, duty to country, and Aboriginal custom and law.

Dust Echoes is one way that we are bringing everyone back to the same campfire – black and white. We are telling our stories to you in a way you can understand, to help you see, hear and know. And we are telling these stories to ourselves, so that we will always remember, with pride, who we are. – Tom Lewis, actor, musician, Indigenous consultant

The Dust Echoes series is a collection of twelve Aboriginal dreamtime stories collected from the Wugularr (Beswick) Community in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Australia. The stories were recorded as audio and then interpreted as short animated movies by some of Australia’s most talented emerging animators, and have enjoyed screenings at film and animation festivals all over the world, to great critical acclaim.

The Dust Echoes series was produced in two parts. In 2004, working with the Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation in Arnhem Land, the first four animations were produced by the ABC in Association with Deakin University. In 2007, the ABC then went on to produce an additional eight animations, again working with Djilpin Arts.

Synopsis for The Bat and the Butterfly

A young man abducts a woman and keeps her as a prisoner in a cave. Her family is not able to rescue her. As a final resort, she turns into a butterfly and escapes. When her captor turns into a bat to chase her, he is driven back into the cave by the hunters in the girl’s family. The theme is one of breaking the law, as well as explaining the origin of two creatures in a dramatic way.

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