2008, 52 Minutes
Australian acting icon Jack Thompson unearths more than a couple of surprises—and significant Australian heritage—but where does he come from and who does he think he is?
Born John Hadley Pain in Sydney in 1940, Jack took on the name of the Thompson family, who adopted him as a child after the death of his mother. In Who Do You Think You Are? Jack will for the first time endeavour to discover the real family history of his biological relations. He discovers a link to Indigenous Australians—and finds a reason behind his emotional connection to the forests of northern NSW.
As Jack’s aunt, the family matriarch, hands over the family reins to him, he is about to find out more than he could have imagined. Through his father’s United States-based sister Beverley, Jack traces his heritage to some of Australia’s earliest arrivals, before heading to Ireland to find out exactly how his family came to live—and thrive—in Australia. He learns about his great grandfather, ship's captain Thomas Pain, and Alfred Lee, a wealthy and significant man in 19th century Australian history, and the Byrne family, Irish Catholics who settled in northern NSW, not far from where Jack now lives.
A Film Australia National Interest Program, Serendipity Productions, Artemis International production in association with ScreenWest and Lotterywest and SBS Independent. Format licensed by Wall to Wall Media Ltd. The Who Do You Think You Are? word mark and logo are trade marks of Wall to Wall Media Limited and are used under licence. © 2011 National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Artemis International, Serendipity Productions, ScreenWest and Lotterywest, SBS Independent.
Director: Catherine Marciniak
Running Time: 52 Minutes
Classification: PG. Consumer Advice: Mild themes, Infrequent mild coarse language.
Curriculum Links: English; Drama; Film, Cinema and Screen Studies; Media Studies; Performing Arts; SOSE/HSIE. See series record for teachers notes.