Australia

Adam Goodes documentary set to make Festival debut

In 2013, Adam Goods alerted security to a fan who called him an ape. (AAP) Source: AAP

A documentary about AFL champion Adam Goodes charts the dual Brownlow medallist's successful playing career and controversy surrounding a 2013 racist incident.

A documentary about dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes and what happened when the Indigenous AFL star started to call out racism will premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Australian Dream, which will be screened on Thursday evening, is told from the perspective of the former Swans player.

"This is the story of Adam Goodes and a moment when Australia faced the worst in itself," the film's writer and Walkley-winning journalist Stan Grant said.

"But it is more than that - it is the story of a country and its history. A story of pain but, above all, hope."

In 2013, Goodes provoked a national conversation about racism when he demanded a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter who had called him an "ape" be removed from the ground.

The documentary chart the dual Brownlow medallist's successful playing career and controversy surrounding a 2013 racist incident
The documentary chart the dual Brownlow medallist's successful playing career and controversy surrounding a 2013 racist incident.
AAP

The film charts the former footballer's rise from before he was drafted and follows his retirement from the game.

"It's an accomplished piece of documentary filmmaking that tackles broader questions of who we are as a nation, together, in deeply affecting terms," festival artistic director Al Cossar said.

Eddie McGuire has described the documentary as "heartbreaking".

The documentary features McGuire's 2013 on-air gaffe suggesting Goodes be used to promote the musical King Kong.

"It's very confronting and it's heartbreaking to be involved in it in a negative way," he told Triple M's Hot Breakfast last month.

"I encourage people to watch this documentary. What you have to do in these situations is you have to front up to things. It's an eye-opener. And if that's the bottom line, it's been a worthwhile exercise."

When the documentary first aired, viewers took to social media in support.

But Sam Newman, who features in the film defending those who booed Goodes, hit back on Twitter.

Earlier this year, the AFL apologised unreservedly for its failure to call out the racism.

A statement attributed to the AFL and all 18 clubs - on behalf of members, administrators, staff and players - apologised for "our failures".

"Adam, who represents so much that is good and unique about our game, was subject to treatment that drove him from football. The game did not do enough to stand with him, and call it out," it said.

"Through Adam's story, we see the personal and institutional experience of racism. We see that Australia's history of dispossession and disempowerment of First Nation's people has left its mark.

"Racism, on and off the field, continues to have a traumatic and damaging impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players and communities."

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch