Aboriginal citizens make up 30 per cent of the Northern Territory’s population but in its largest prison, over 80 per cent of the inmates are Indigenous.
The inmates are varied, both men and women, some from good homes others from dysfunctional families. Many come from remote communities where English is the second or third language spoken and the traditional law of their society is in conflict with European laws. This documentary gives voice to these normally overlooked Australian citizens.
As distinct from a concert based documentary, singing pervades Prison Songs with prisoners breaking into hip hop, blues, country, reggae or gospel as they talk about the reasons for their imprisonment. The personal, intimate stories mesh together to create a portrait of life in a society with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. All the prisoners in Berrimah have their own story to tell. Life in a contemporary Australian goal has never been filmed with such detail, emotional depth or with such seriousness and humour. It is a snapshot of Berrimah Prison, just prior to it being decommissioned as an adult prison in late 2014.
This event is presented by Indigenous Health staff from the Rural Clinical School at the ANU Medical School. The screening will be followed by a question and answer forum on issues raised by the film.
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