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Lonely Boy Richard

  Directed by: Trevor Graham
Written by: Rosemary Hesp
Starring: Richard Wanambi
Genre: Documentary
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Documentary 2004 (nominee)

This movie gets: 5.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Perhaps a little long" - a review by pearly

The town of Yirrkala in Australia's Northern Territory is a dry area. The Aboriginal community living there are trying to ease the problems caused by excessive consumption of both alcohol and other drugs. Unfortunately, there is a nearby town where alcohol is available, and many people commute there daily, to be brought home intoxicated by the Yirrkala police.

Richard Wanambi, the focus of this documentary, is one of these people. Intelligent when sober, Wanambi deteriorates when drunk, and has recently been arrested for raping a woman whilst drunk, to which he pleads guilty.

Throughout the course of the film, we meet various members of the Yirrkala community, from the police men and women who pick up the drunks to bring them home, to Wanambi's family members. Each offer their perspective on the state of the community, but the message coming out of most people's mouths is the same: alcohol is the cause of many of the problems that the town is experiencing, and this is just one example of a wider issue.

Through profiling a single person, Lonely Boy Richard illustrates this common problem: in the Northern Territory, three quarters of the people behind bars are Aboriginal men. Clocking in at just under one hour, the only criticism that I would have of this documentary is that for such a simple message, the film is not very punchy. It would perhaps have benefitted from some further editing.

pearly gives this movie 5 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 14 Sep 2004

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