A powerful examination of the devastating legacy of Australia’s stolen generation.
An affecting experience that is hard to forget.
Brenda Matthews recounts her story of being taken from her Aboriginal family at the age of two and placed into the foster care of a white family. Her time with this family is short-lived however when Brenda’s biological parents successfully win custody back of their seven displaced children, including Brenda. What emerges is a personal journey for Brenda to uncover the truth about her initial removal and connect the missing puzzle pieces of the fragmented memory of her ‘other’ family. As she states at one point, "you have to go back to move forward".
Director Nathaniel Schmidt tells Brenda’s story (who is also credited as co-director) with sensitivity and care. Interspersing the documentary with re-enactments where memory and recollection elude the bigger picture, the film unpacks a complex path towards reconciliation and healing. This is complicated further by Brenda’s quest to be justly compensated and rightfully acknowledged as a child of the stolen generation. The emotional reunion Brenda has with her white family uncovers a painful lie at the heart of the story propagated by the State to justify Brenda’s removal from her Indigenous family. This encounter goes to the core of this impactful film centred around truth, healing and reconciliation. Ultimately, this is a story of two families caught in the middle of Australia’s shameful legacy and the grace of good people, helping each other move towards a better tomorrow.
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