2003, 55 Minutes
In Australia’s Northern Territory three-quarters of the people behind bars are Indigenous men. Lonely Boy Richard is an intimate account of one man’s journey to jail.
Richard Wanambi is about to go to prison for a long time. He knows what it’s like. He’s been there before. Richard lives with his family in Yirrkala, in northeast Arnhem Land. It’s a proud Aboriginal community now experiencing serious social problems. Like elsewhere, alcohol abuse and violence are threatening to erode family and community life.
Nami, the woman Richard knows as mum, lives in fear. She’s lost one son because of alcohol. Another is teetering on the edge. Then there’s Richard, who calls himself Lonely Boy. He’s been drinking since he was 14, just like his dad did. Now he’s committed a terrible crime.
Salvation may lie in a return to their ancestral homelands and that’s where Nami takes her family. But for Richard, temptation lies all too close in the white mining township of Nhulunbuy. Yirrkala’s night patrol team does what it can. Every night it battles on the frontline, to bring the drinkers home from Nhulunbuy and keep the grog out of their “dry” community. But that’s not enough to save Richard from himself, or his community from him.
Lonely Boy Richard presents the human story behind the headlines.
A Film Australia National Interest Program. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.
Director: Trevor Graham
Narrator: Trevor Graham
Running Time: 55 Minutes
Classification: M. Consumer advice: Adult themes, low level coarse language.
Curriculum Links: Indigenous Studies - Culture and Identity; Criminology; Criminal Justice; Restorative Justice; Justice Studies; Correctional Education; Offender Rehabilitation; Australian History; Health; Justice/Legal Studies; Law; SOSE/HSIE; Gender Studies; English K-10 Stage 5 - Insights into Aboriginal experiences in Australia; PDHPE; Personal Development; Values education; Ethics.