• (L - R) 'Burn Mother F---er Burn', 'Let the Fire Burn', 'Vote Yes for Aborigines' and 'Cold Justice'. (SBS)Source: SBS
SBS has put together a collection of documentaries and programs that highlight and challenge racial inequality and injustice, as well as enlighten, inform and educate.
SBS Guide

5 Jun 2020 - 11:49 AM  UPDATED 5 Jun 2020 - 11:49 AM

While SBS News continues to bring you detailed coverage and analysis of ongoing protests across the USA in the aftermath of the police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA, and NITV brings discussion on the connection between the Black Lives Matter movement and issues affecting Indigenous Australians, we’ve put together a collection of documentaries, covering Australian and American stories, that will enlighten, inform and educate.  


The Point – Black Lives Matter

In this episode of NITV’s current affairs program The Point, hosts Ryan Liddle and Shahni Wellington speak with Senator Malarndirri McCarthy and Black Lives Matter worldwide network co-founder Rodney Diverlus to discuss the ongoing deaths in custody in Australia and the US, in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA last month.

The Point airs on NITV on Wednesday nights at 8:30pm. This episode aired on Wednesday 3 June and is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Mabo: Life of an Island Man

As we commemorated Mabo Day on Wednesday 3 June, we screen this award-winning documentary about the private and public stories of a man so passionate about family and home that he fought an entire nation and its legal system.

Mabo: Life of an Island Man is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Living Black: spotlight on Palm Island, Queensland

We’ve selected three episodes of this long-running and highly respected news and current affairs program hosted by Karla Grant, each focusing on Palm Island.

In ‘A Vision For Palm’, the team investigates how a mobile ophthalmology service is changing lives:

‘Palm Island Centenary’ looks back at one of Australia’s harshest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander settlements on its 100-year anniversary and asks what the future holds:

‘Palm Island Looking Back’ covers the class action brought against the Queensland government by Palm Islanders in September 2015, a case which centred on the death in custody of Mulrunji Doomadgee:

For more information and episodes, visit Living Black at NITV.


Karla Grant Presents …

Presenting stories through an Indigenous lens, we’ve selected three documentaries from this series that launched in August 2019.

In ‘Utopia Generations’, a worried grandfather tracks down his grandson to bring him home and take him through Country and law:

‘Tayamangajirri’, which means ‘we look after each other’, follows a team of women from the Tiwi Islands who work day and night making sure the Islands’ kids and families are safe:

‘Not Just Numbers’ is the inspirational journey of a group of Aboriginal women working to stop the violence in their communities:


Our Stories

This collection of episodes from landmark NITV program Our Stories includes a variety of stories from around the country about people reconnecting with their communities, language and ancestry. Learn more here about Our Stories, a television initiative to broadcast mini documentaries creating digital songlines:


Cold Justice

Hosted by Walkley Award and Amnesty Media Award nominee Allan Clarke, this collection of episodes of Cold Justice covers the injustice Indigenous Australians face with cold case victims:


First Contact

Hosted by award-winning journalist Ray Martin, this three-part series takes six outspoken Australians into Aboriginal Australia for the first time. Hosted by Indigenous families, the participants’ views on topics from welfare to identity are challenged. Season 1 is available in English and season 2 in Arabic.

First Contact is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Vote Yes For Aborigines

The 1967 referendum resulted in the removal of two sections of the Constitution which discriminated against Aborigines. Over 90% of voters agreed that Aborigines be counted in the census and that the Commonwealth government take charge of Aboriginal affairs, effectively acknowledging Aboriginal people as citizens within their own country.

Vote Yes For Aborigines is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Warbudar Bununu: Water Shield

In the late 1970s, elders from Borroloola, a town on the McArthur river in the Northern Territory, co-produced this landmark film to expose the threat to their homelands from mining development. The eco-battle was to re-ignite in 2019.

Warbudar Bununu: Water Shield is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


The Truth About Racism

Host Yassmin Abdel-Magied, a Sudanese-born Muslim Australian, is joined by four volunteers from different ethnic backgrounds who undergo a series of scientific psychological tests. They attempt to find out if racial bias is inevitable, if it can be consciously overridden and if brains can be re-trained. The tests include experiments involving facial recognition empathy and pain, and split-second fear responses.

The Truth About Racism is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Keeping The Language

This documentary presents a series of interviews with the Nyul Nyul/Jabirr Jabirr cultural leaders who describe the genocide they and their people suffered in the days of the Beagle Bay Mission, Western Australia. In English and Bardi languages.

Keeping The Language is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Elsta Foy

This is the story of true maverick and renaissance woman, Elsta Foy, a Walman Yawuru Elder of Broome. Foy is a pioneer of Indigenous health services and was the first Indigenous health worker trained in Western Australia.

Elsta Foy is now streaming at SBS On Demand:




Let The Fire Burn

On 13 May 1985, cameras were there to capture a decade-long conflict between the Philadelphia police and MOVE, a radical African American back-to-nature group, as it comes to a head.

Let The Fire Burn is now streaming at SBS On Demand. Be quick, this documentary expires on 23 June:


Burn Motherf----- Burn

Sadly all too timely, this provocative documentary looks at how decades of racial tensions, injustice and a troubled relationship between the LAPD and the African American community led to an uprising.

Burn Motherf----- Burn is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Race For Justice

Exploring the chaotic situation in the US, this documentary looks at major cases of police brutality, and interviews social activists, families of victims and academics about this ongoing issue.

Race For Justice is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Charlottesville: Documenting Hate

Investigative reporter for ProPublica, A.C. Thompson was in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 when white supremacists and neo-Nazis converged on the city in a rally that quickly became a “crime scene”. Nearly a year after the deadly rally, Thompson is still trying to understand that crime, identifying the groups and the individuals who carried out the racist violence, many of whom have yet to be held accountable. This confronting documentary investigates why.

Charlottesville: Documenting Hate is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Fixing The System: Crime and Punishment

It took till July 2015 for a sitting US President to visit a federal prison. In a special report examining the larger landscape of an unjust and badly broken prison system, the VICE crew filmed Barack Obama in this historic event as he sat down and spoke with inmates of El Reno Federal Prison in the heart of Oklahoma.

Fixing The System: Crime and Punishment is now streaming at SBS On Demand:



Staying with the VICE team, we’ve selected two programs from this news documentary series‘To Serve And Protect And Coming To America’ takes us back only 6 years to the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, which sparked protests that quickly spread across the country. Reporter Thomas Morton travels to Ferguson at the height of the protests for an in-depth look at the situation. (Also in this episode, Suroosh Alvi goes to El Salvador to see the conditions that are motivating a mass migration to the US border.)

In ‘Flint Water Crisis / Libya On The Brink’, VICE investigates the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the realities of life in a city poisoned by its own government. (Also in this episode is a report from the front lines as rival militias fight to save Libya.)

Seasons 1–4 episodes of VICE documentaries are streaming now at SBS On Demand.


Raised In The System: Youth Behind Bars

The US incarcerates more juveniles than any other country. VICE News and Michael K. Williams investigate this trend and how it affects those stuck in the system.

Raised In The System: Youth Behind Bars is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Hate Thy Neighbour

Ever wanted to travel the world to ask people what drives them to feel and act out prejudice against their fellow humans? That’s what host, comedian Jamali Maddix has set out to do in this documentary series, hanging out with haters from the US, UK and further afield.

Seasons 1 and 2 of Hate Thy Neighbour are now streaming at SBS On Demand:


The Cleveland Strangler

From 2007 to 2009, 11 black women were assaulted and murdered on Cleveland’s east side, raising disturbing questions about race, class and law enforcement in the Ohio city.

The Cleveland Strangler is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Race And Education

Exploring the fact that not all US schools are treated equally, this documentary examines how despite decades of protests, court victories and political pledges, some schools still lack resources that act as barriers to students’ success.

Race And Education is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


Segregated City

New York’s school system is among the most segregated in the country. Now a new Schools Chancellor is promising change. Can he fix a broken system?

Segregated City is now streaming at SBS On Demand:


For detailed coverage and analysis of the ongoing protests across the USA, head to SBS News. Also see NITV for first-hand accounts of how the Black Lives Matter movement connects with Indigenous Australians.