A man wakes up hungover on the sofa from his previous night. Unwilling to move he lets his wife pick up the remote control and his 3-year-old daughter get him a glass of water with an aspirin.

It's the girl's birthday, yet the father seems to be oblivious of joining his wife's birthday preparations. The girl resorts herself to a special form of revenge. When the father is sick of her bringing him glass after glass of water he inquires where that water came from because it has a strange taste attached to it.

The revelation made the theatre roar in laughter...

Director Trisha Morton-Thomas writes about her film: "I got the idea for the film from a story my cousin told me. She had been sick with the flu and her two-year-old daughter kept bringing water into the room for her to drink. After a while my cousin called out to her mother to stop giving the baby glasses of water and then she got a nasty surprise.

"When I wrote Kwatye I decided to use a young couple in their late teens/early twenties, struggling to maintain their relationship and raise their child, because I don't believe there are enough stories in the Aboriginal community about this age group.

"I want the audience to think about the pressures young parents are under, and to realise that even though these young people have a child of their own, they are still children themselves and are doing the best they can."

Still from the movie 'Kwayte'.
Still from the film 'Kwayte'.
Portrait of Trisha Morton-Thomas.
Trisha Morton-Thomas Picture:


Aspen Beattie - Aspen (little girl)
Carmen Glynn-Braun - Karen (mother)
Donnovan Mears - Gary (father)
Release dates
May 5, 2007 - Australia (World premiere on the Message Sticks Indigenous Film Festival)
Video/DVD release date
2007, Bit of Black Business
PG - Parental guidance

Kwatye is based on a family story and was shot in Alice Springs.

'Kwatye' is an an Aranda (central Australian Aboriginal language group) word for water within the Great Artesian Basin.

Trisha Morton-Thomas is a Anmatjerre (pronounced: an-mut-jerra) woman from central Australia. She's been a producer, actor (e.g. Radiance), director and journalist/writer.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, Kwatye, <>, retrieved 25 July 2024

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