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IN MY BLOOD IT RUNS gets 7/10 One red blood


Directed by Maya Newell

Featuring Dujuan Hoosan, Carol Turner

7/10

Set in a remote and predominately Indigenous town in Alice Springs, this documentary examines a young boy and his family in intimate close-up (though not just in terms of cinematography). It embeds itself in their lives so closely, you get a very clear look at many of their struggles and joys, even if it doesn’t entirely grasp the wider community, or falters when sprinkling in social concerns that aren’t elaborated on.

The camera sets its central attention on 10 year old Dujuan, though also captures how his emotions extend out to his family. Maybe most people can remember the difficulties of early learning in primary school, but it’s extra complicated for Dujuan, who’s learning both his Indigenous roots and a more traditional white education, resulting in extra lessons and outbursts of misbehaviour from him.

This documentary may sound like it’s viewing a rough circumstance for the family, but it always seems to set its sights on optimism, which especially unfurls when Dujuan’s estranged dad is brought back into his life, where another aspect of the young boy’s life is fulfilled and further hope for his future is restored.

It chooses mostly to be a fly-on-the-wall documentary rather than a political one, though it doesn’t have the time to clearly elaborate on any of the political messages its giving, nor even implement them that well in relation to their lives. It seems to bring in a different kind of documentary whenever it brings up social issues, like they are punctuation to the story of this boy, though their briefness doesn’t do much to amplify the situation of Dujuan’s struggles.

In My Blood It Runs is an experiential documentary that absorbs the culture of this rural area, differing from the other exposés of Indigenous communities as it’s focused more on the individual rather than the wider community like in Another Country, but shows the potential rather than the compromised realities of growing up like in the very documentary-like drama Toomelah. Honing in on one boy within one family within one desolate community, this documentary succeeds at finding inspiration in an otherwise tumultuous area.

DAVID MORGAN-BROWN

In My Blood It Runs plays at UWA Somerville from Monday, February 3 – Sunday, February 9, 8pm.

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