A personal reflection on self-determining documentary filmmaking practice

I remember the first documentary I saw in a movie theatre. I was fourteen years old and my father took me to a screening of Lousy Little Sixpence (Alec Morgan and Gerald Bostock, 1983). I knew about the stolen generations policy through its impact on my own family but I had never seen Aboriginal people on a cinema screen telling their stories in their own words. There was both power in the telling of the lived experience and a subversive about it. While my brother and I knew this part of Australian history, in this period after the end of the formal removal policy and before the Bringing Them Home Report and a National Apology, no other student at our high school seemed to. The voices in Lousy Little Sixpence challenged that ignorance but also validated the lived experience of members of our family.

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