A new documentary called Wawu Divine Hope about the Lutheran community in Hope Vale in Far North Queensland was aired on NITV on 27 July 2020.
Written, produced and directed by Indigenous filmmaker, Caden Pearson, the documentary featured a unique Easter event celebrated in the town. Each year the people of the community beautify the town’s cemetery as a way to respect the departed and preserve cultural traditions.
Growing up in Hope Vale and attending this Easter tradition was Caden’s inspiration to make the documentary. He noticed fairy lights at the cemetery, and observed the juxtaposition of the electric lights amid a tradition where technology was usually absent.
The Easter event originated as a way to honour those who established Hope Vale in the 1950s after being displaced during World War II.
Each year, the community at Hope Vale gathers at the cemetery and works together to tidy the gravestones and adorn them with fresh flowers. After the dawn service on Easter Sunday, the community meets to admire the display and commemorate the history of their town. The celebration of Easter becomes a family event and is being embraced by the next generation.
Wawu Divine Hope premiered on NITV Monday 27 July and will now available for a short time on SBS On Demand as part of NITV’s Karla Grant Presents – a series of documentaries made by Indigenous filmmakers presented by journalist and host Karla Grant.