Retracing a tragedy
THIS sobering and compelling documentary is based on the award- winning book of the same name by Chloe Hooper.
Filmmaker Tony Krawitz takes a long, hard and often worrying look at an indigenous death in custody that dominated headlines in Queensland for several years.
What exactly happened to Cameron Doomadgee for the brief period while he was under police arrest on Palm Island in 2004 remains a mystery, even now.
Several people were present on the fateful day when Doomadgee ( pictured above right) arrived at the local police station, having been hauled in for swearing at the arresting officer, Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley.
The pair were seen to scuffle briefly. Hurley, a tall and heavy set type, soon had the upper hand in the contest.
Doomadgee was taken to a holding cell. About 45 minutes later he was dead from internal injuries. One observer of the case likened the injuries to those sustained by a passenger in a plane crash.
The immediate aftermath of the incident still boggles the mind. The police station was not deemed a crime scene. The handling of the investigation and the discrediting of key witnesses were highly dubious, to say the least.
As The Tall Man delves deeper into the case, the hopes of justice being seen to be done grow fainter.
As recently as last year, the legal system was still throwing its hands in the air with Queensland’s courts ( which found Hurley not guilty on a charge of manslaughter) completely at odds with the view of the state coroner.
Nevertheless, the impact of Doomadgee’s tragic death and what it continues to say about race relations in this country is driven home powerfully by Krawitz.
Now showing State Cinema