The Family: a moving documentary on a bizarre religious cult that preyed on social utopian ideals and yearnings for a better life

Rosie Jones, “The Family” (2016) For over 20 years, the quiet town of Eildon and the Melbourne suburb of Ferny Creek played host to a bizarre religious cult led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne and her de facto husband Bill. Initially teaching a syncretic mix of Christianity and mystical Hinduism, the cult adopted and developed a set of …

SBS versus President Bashar al Assad of Syria: a respectful interview revealing Western prejudices and assumptions about the Syrian war

SBS News Interview with President Bashar al Assad (1 July 2016) Two years in the making, SBS journalist Luke Waters’ interview of Syrian President Bashar al Assad claims to be rare and exclusive though the BBC has interviewed Assad in the past. The Australian journalist interviewed Assad in the presidential palace in Damascus and the interview …

Buckskin: a fascinating story about a young teacher determined to give his people a renewed identity and hope for change

Dylan McDonald, “Buckskin” (2013) A young teacher and sometime Australian Rules football player called Jack Buckskin is one of a very tiny number of people who can understand and fluently speak the lost indigenous Australian language Kaurna, and he is determined not only to pass this language on to his toddler daughter Malia but also to his …

Prison Songs: a snapshot in song and dance of indigenous Australians’ prison experiences, and the issues that blight their lives

Kelrick Martin, “Prison Songs” (2015) Billed as Australia’s first musical documentary, and probably the first of its kind to be set in a prison, “Prison Songs” is a snapshot in song and dance of Australian indigenous people’s experiences in prison through the stories of individual prisoners held in Darwin’s Berrimah Prison. The film tackles issues of …