“Life in paradise. Death in custody”.

I recently read Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man, upon which this documentary is based and it’s a terrific read. (You can get a taste of it here). Kinda like Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood in terms of genre, but a lot more political. Although the politics isn’t clobbering, so don’t be afraid of the politics. You will read the book because it’s genuinely captivating, the politics will be a bonus for you. A devastating bonus.

As I have mentioned previously on my own site, the death of Cameron ‘Mulrunji’ Doomadgee and its subsequent fall-out have been truly horrifying from beginning to now. Really, black deaths in custody are always a shocking story, but this case is beyond feelings of sadness and concern. The magnitude of injustice is extreme. Palm Island is pretty close to home for me, although its desperate disadvantage is a million miles from my world; it is located in the same state where I live and several close friends of mine have worked on the island and indeed, several colleagues have worked on the case. It is kind of hard for me to believe. It feels like something that should be part of a very distant, shameful past.

The only good to have come out of the death of Cameron ‘Mulrunji’ Doomadgee is that a lot more people now understand why black mothers are so worried about their sons going into custody.

The film will be released in Australia in November this year and has already been launched in the United States of America. See it.

(Cross-posted at blue milk).

(Thanks to Kim for the heads up on the release of the film).

Categories: arts & entertainment, indigenous, law & order, media, social justice, violence

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1 reply

  1. Thanks for this. I’ve been thinking a lot about black deaths in custody since the Troy Davis execution, and the kind of differences in reaction to judicial and extra-judicial murder (not in scale or outrage so much as in what gets held out as a solution). The femosphere has talked a lot about capital punishment recently, but there’s been less on the kind of ongoing racism inherent in the ‘justice’ system and how black deaths within it are much more than just the abolition of the death penalty can solve.

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