The thing I liked about Nyet Nyet’s picnic was that it didn’t compromise. It didn’t lose the perspective (I know I’m supposed to say lens right there) it came from. Well, as far as I could tell it didn’t compromise. From the lens I was using. White, middle-class eyes. Oh look, and I found something to back me up here.
It was pretty scary. I wondered at times whether I really approved of myself letting (making?) my children sit there. Particularly at the one or two points where my eldest boy was petrified. And who wouldn’t be petrified? I mean look at them. Snuff puppets are enormous. Huuuuge. You’re seven years old, you’re in a big dark cavern of a space and the mother bunyip looms over you. That mother bunyip was, without exaggeration, as tall as a not small house. Taller than our house for sure.
And not to mention the towering man with his head caught on fire staggering about the auditorium and roaring a gutteral roar. A lot of the children (including, I think, my youngest) revelled in the frightening, in the way that people do on the Ghost Train or a rollercoaster. Screaming exaggerated screams as the bunyip loomed overheard.
If Dreamtime stories are supposed to act as a cautionary tales, well, in our house it’s worked. I’m pretty confident my kids won’t be getting too close to the campfire that’s for sure.
Through it all, my boys were on high alert. ‘They could come out from any of those corners, Mum’. ‘I didn’t see where that other bunyip went, did you?’ ‘Is there anything else in that lagoon?’
Bunyips? We believe.
But there were fart jokes too. And poo. What makes fart jokes so funny? I just can’t see it.
When it was finished, I let my boy peek behind the curtain to see the lifeless bunyip. Pretty sure it didn’t look lifeless to him. Pretty sure it looked like it had one eye open. Always.
But like I said to him that night when we were snuggled up together in bed (don’t leave until I’m asleep, okay?) if you can handle Ben10* then you’re up for a bit of Dreamtime.
*Watched it on holiday with his Granny – according to the mister, if I’d seen it, I would have been disapproving. Sometimes I wonder: is that my job? To disapprove.