Flying Fox - Wings of the Night

An in-depth look at fruit bats (flying foxes) by an Aboriginal Australian radio reporter. The bats sleep during the day and are the only mammals to have truly mastered the art of flying.

Around 400,000 Megabats sleep day by day on Indooroopilly Island, a little stretch of land of no more than 50 by 500 metres set on the Brisbane River, Australia. And night after night these animals are out on the wing looking for food, flying to fig trees, eucalyptus forests, and also fruit plantations. After their nocturnal foraging, each animal returns to exactly the same sleeping place - just the same as the humans in the bustling metropolis that surrounds them. And we see that in this thoroughly organised city - however that is achieved, for there are no recognisable systems of traffic control, such as street signs or the like - each animal is integrated into the established fabric of their society which is mainly determined by the fact that they always remain in the same neighbourhood and keep close relationships with their co-inhabitants.

The world of the Megabat is full of wondrous and peculiar things. They hang quite casually in the trees, heads down, metres above the ground, fast asleep in broad daylight, sometimes supporting themselves by no more than a toe. At night they swarm out in their thousands and search for ripe fruit and fresh blossoms. They are intelligent, and communicate by a highly sophisticated language. They are the only mammals to have truly mastered the art of flying, and clearly they have solved all of the problems that arise when the world is turned on its head. Life inside the colony is governed by a complicated set of social rules, yet although they live together in great numbers, they distinguish themselves by their marked individuality and the way that every single fruit bat has its own unique personality.

A tribal journey by Wiruungga Dunggiirr in search of Balawirr Dreaming

Original gauge: HD Cam
Released: 2004
Duration: 52 minutes
Coproduction: Gulliver Media Australia Pty Ltd and Marco Polo Films AG, Germany
Producer: Larry Zetlin
Director: Phil Lomas
Script: Annette Scheurich
DOP: Phil Lomas
Sound: Lincoln Williams
Editor: Ross Shakin / Hans Flink
Post: Marco Polo High Definition GmbH / DigiPost Pro-cam
Mix: Absolute Audio
The Flying Fox and bats in general, carry an incredible weight of false myth on their leathery wings. This programme seeks to demythologize this flying mammal by creating a new story, a combination of observation, scientific knowledge and Aboriginal stories.

Wiruungga Dunggiirr

video backup

Keeping Culture Alive

My name is Wiruungga Dunggiirr and I’m from the Namba Gumbaynggar Nation, in New South Wales, Nambuka heads. I am an Elder of the Namba Gumbaynggar Nation. I teach aboriginals’studies in spiritual healings, bush tucker, bush medicines, rituals from the Never-Never, dance, ceremonies, fire ceremonies, making boomerangs and stone tools…

My culture was given to me by my Mother, Father, Grandfather Grandmother, Great Grandmother and Uncles and Aunties. When I was 5 years old sitting in a circle on the mission my 4 Grandfathers would sit in circle with 21 children telling the stories of the creation of Mother Earth and the Dreamtime stories. These stories were about his Father, and his Father, and his Father before him and how they we through ceremony, rituals and how they got their totems.

For 40 years I’ve been doing ceremonies, rituals, walkabout… all that. Now it’s time for me to share my knowledge and culture because we need to share our culture with the non-Indigenous people and our own Indigenous people. It’s a healing culture.

I travel to remote Aboriginal communities and deliver second hand clothing to the people. I do this on my own and with my own money. If you would like to donate please phone me as I have the Wiruungga Dunggiirr Foundation – a not-for-profit Organisation. Thank you.


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BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats: Flying Fox - Wings of the Night
Flying Fox - Wings of the Night
Flying Fox Wings of the Night
BATS. Megabats, Flying-foxes, Fruit bats and Microbats
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