Private Project


INFRACTIONS is a moving artistic feature documentary in dialogue with frontline Indigenous cultural workers' struggles against current threats to more than 50% of Australia's Northern Territory from shale gas fracking. The filmmaker, a former museum curator, grew up in the small East Coast port city where the first unconventional gas infrastructure was approved for the nation. But the film uses a split screen poetic to stay with First Nations voices throughout. Stories of resistance and manufactured consent show up the toxicity of the Western legal system on lands that have technically been won back since the 1970s. Grassroots expertise on ancient underground waters is reinforced by Indigenous law professor Irene Watson, whose country further South is also threatened. An analytically precise, poetic and cutting dramatization of global and local knowledge required for solidarity and climate justice.

  • Rachel O'Reilly
  • Rachel O'Reilly
  • Mason Leaver-Yap
    Artist Films with: Sharon Hayes, Oreet Ashery, Sunil Gupta and the Estate of Tessa Boffin, Jimmy Robert, Rachel O’Reilly, Andrea Büttner, Renée Green and Free Agent Media, Ingrid Pollard, Alexis Mitchell and Sharlene Bamboat, Kat Anderson, Evan Ifekoya, Jamie Crewe, Lisa Tan, Beatrice Gibson with CAConrad and Eileen Myles, Marwa Arsanios, Yto Barrada, Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz.
  • Que Kenny (Western Arrarnta)
    Key Cast
  • Ray (Dimakarri) Dixon (Mudburra)
    Key Cast
  • Gadrian Hoosan (Garrwa, Yanyuwa)
    Key Cast
    Water is Life
  • Neola Johnson (Gooreng Gooreng)
    Key Cast
  • Juliri Ingra (Gooreng Gooreng)
    Key Cast
  • Professor Irene Watson (Tanganekald, Meintangk Bunganditj)
    Key Cast
  • Jack Green (Garawa, Gudanji)
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Genres:
    Non-fiction, Activism, Art Film
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 2 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 24, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    20,000 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Launch (limited audience): KW Berlin / Babylon
    November 24, 2019
  • Institute of Contemporary Art
    United Kingdom
    December 4, 2019
Distribution Information
  • Rachel O'Reilly
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Rachel O'Reilly

Rachel O’Reilly is an artist, filmmaker, researcher and curator. She is currently pursuing a Phd at Goldsmiths’ Centre for Research Architecture, and teaches art and politics at the Dutch Art Institute. She curated international moving image works for the Asia Pacific Triennial and Australian Cinematheque before returning to independent artistic work that has been presented internationally since 2015. INFRACTIONS is her first feature documentary. She has worked in Berlin since 2015, grew up in Yallarm (Gladstone) on unceded Gooreng Gooreng country and is currently locked down in Meanjin/Brisbane.

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Director Statement

I made this film because I don't think it is possible to work in the Culture Industries, and be committed to equality, and not be actively contributing to fossil fuel divestment with whatever skills that we have. I have been producing art work and research about the fracking industry for 7 years in dialogue with the Gooreng Gooreng elders in the film, and worked in the field of Contemporary Art for 15 years, before making this first feature documentary that just happened to come out in time for the Australian Government's 'gas-led recovery' solution to the pandemic, which is a climate bomb affecting all futures. I hope that it encourages people to connect black land to the mattering of black life and future water supplies, and to really value and support the efforts of people working hardest on the ground.