‘The Nightingale’ Star Baykali Ganambarr on Confronting History to Heal

Baykali Ganambarr went from being a dancer to starring in a crucial but brutal movie about Australian colonialism.
Ganambarr says his debut career started with a Facebook post that a friend sent him saying an Aboriginal actor was needed for an upcoming film. Though he was a little intimidated to take on acting, having no previous experience, he wanted to get the role because of the movie’s important message.
“It’s really important to acknowledge and accept history and to not sugarcoat it. Through confronting, you heal the hurt,” he said. “I just want to world to recognize that Aboriginal people of Australia still exist, and that we’re still there.”
“The Nightingale” vividly addresses the horrific history of colonialism in Australia, which involved a lot of violence and bleak circumstances.
“Eventually someone had to say something about it and share the history,” Ganambarr stated. “That’s why I wanted to be in this film is because it’s such an important opportunity because I saw this as a platform.”
Though the story of Australian colonialism isn’t told enough, Ganambarr says that his history was taught to him since a very young age.
“There’s still a lot of poverty and incarceration in our community. And sadly racism still exists,” he said. “I just wish everything could change.”

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