LIFE & CULTURE

‘In My Blood It Runs’ Teaches Us The Failures Of Mainstream Education On First Nations Children

“I came here to speak to you because the Australian government is not listening”

Shot over three-and-a-half years, In My Blood It Runs follows the story of Arrente and Garrwa boy Dujuan Hoosan, whose exceptional story took him all the way to the United Nations by age 12.

Hoosan is an incredibly impressive boy. A child-healer, who speaks three languages, he battles persecution from welfare and the police due to western education systems refusing to accept his independent thoughts and knowledge of his ancestral culture. In My Blood It Runs illustrates the love and importance of culture to a young Aboriginal child, along with present-day Australia’s rejection of the oldest living culture on the planet.

The documentary was filmed in Mparntwe (Alice Springs), Sandy Bore Homeland and Borroloola Community in the Northern Territory. On the film’s website, the documentary began organically from relationships built filming alongside Arrenrnte-led NGOs Akeyulerrre and Children’s Ground. Thanks to this 10-year-long relationship between director, Maya Newell and the Arrente Elders and family members, the film’s intimacy and interviews with Dujuan and his family were born.

In My Blood It Runs

“This has been a deep and ongoing process to ensure that each individual comprehensively understands the terms of involvement and the control they have over how their stories and images portrayed.”

An emotional watch, In My Blood It Runs originally premiered in 2019. After its release, Hoosan became the youngest person to address the United Nations Human Rights council. It was there, where he spoke on education reform for Indigenous Australians and the system incarceration of Indigenous Australian children.

“I came here to speak to you because the Australian government is not listening,” Hoosan states in his address to the United Nations.

The documentary is not only a beautiful, intimate and compelling, but it’s essential viewing teaching the failures of mainstream education for First Nations children–and along the way upends the conventions of documentary-making itself.

The Arrernte and Garrwa families and communities featured in the film have released a corresponding impact campaign with three main pillars of change: education, juvenile justice and racism. If you’re interested in supporting them, you do so here.

In My Blood It Runs is now available to stream on ABC iView here

In the meantime, you can watch the inspirational trailer below.

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