Karrabing Film Collective
Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland
The Mermaids, or Aiden in Wonderland is a surreal exploration of Western toxic contamination, capitalism, and human and non-human life. Set in a land and seascape poisoned by capitalism where only Aboriginals can survive long periods outdoors, the film tells the story of a young Indigenous man, Aiden, taken away when he was just a baby to be a part of a medical experiment to save the white race. He is then released back into the world to his family. As he travels with his father and brother across the landscape he confronts two possible futures and pasts embodied by his own tale and the timely narratives of multinational chemical and extractive industries. The psychedelic and fragmented nature of the film reflects the insidious, creeping violence of toxicity that corrupts the psychology of those who are structurally, economically, and politically displaced. As Aiden, a stranger to his own land is reinserted into existence; he becomes acquainted with territorial nature and folklore – mermaids, a bee, a cockatoo bringing forth a pertinent inquiry of whose and which lives matter.