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Q&A with Richard Frankland

National Reconciliation Week kicks off this month with a free screening of Stone Bros at the Deckchair Cinema. In this road tripping comedy, city-based Eddie sets off to reconnect with his Indigenous roots, only to be railroaded by his wild-boy stoner cousin Charlie. Off The Leash caught up with celebrated author, poet, musician and film-maker Richard Frankland about his first feature length film.

What made you go with comedy as a genre when you wrote the screenplay?
We made it to try and humanise our mob. Aboriginal and Islander people are always seen as a problem, when we’re some of the most loving, beautiful, uproariously funny people you’ll ever meet! Even when people are caught up carrying huge cultural loads and problems, there’s still this great humour and love.

It’s certainly a wild ride to watch, what was it like filming it?
There was a lot of love and respect on the set. I was a bit disturbed by the racism we felt coming from broader society, people outside the set, sometimes. But unfortunately that’s a reality in Australia. The biggest gift was the feeling from everyone; we were all part of making something really beautiful.

The movie kicks off Reconciliation Week in Darwin, anything you want to say to the audience?
Well, send my love and respect. That’s number one. And I reckon, read between the lines. Take it away and let your heart sing and giggle a bit. I showed the rough cut to one old fella and he said ‘come here my boy.’ He said ‘When I seen that film, I woke up in the middle of the night laughing in the dark!’ Then he said, ‘This film will save lives!’ And that’s what I hoped for, that it would help us see each other as we truly are, not as lateral violence and broader society paints us. 

Sat 27 May | 7.30pm | gates 6pm

See the event listing. 


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