Directed by Daniel Gordon, The Australian Dream is a documentary about Adam Goodes and his career in the AFL, in relation to the racial vilification and abuse he suffered in the last few years. In dealing with these moments, Goodes and the filmmakers seek to explore what Australia’s relationship with the Indigenous and the truth of casual racism in normal society.
Full confession: I have never seen an entire AFL match, nor been a fan of the sport, and thus I wouldn’t pretend to have the first clue about Adam Goodes and problems within the sport. The Australian Dream is a completely new experience in every way, and thoroughly enlightening. Educating us the audience about racial history in Australia, how we have treated and seen the Indigenous communities across the country, and how casual racism, often called “slip of the tongue” or “just a joke”, still profoundly affects generations of young and old Australians. Through the lens of Adam Goodes and his experience with racial vilification, it becomes a microcosm of what Indigenous people go through every day.
The documentary does give a voice to a few critics of Goodes and his responses to racial incidents, so it is still a variety of perspectives designed to open up worthy conversations, but it is trying to educate everyone about things they most likely do not know about. I had never heard of Nicky Winmar or Stan Grant, nor was I aware of the social media reponses to Adam Goodes of the time, but I am glad I know about them now. I walked out of The Australian Dream having learned about the lives of the abused and rejected members of our so-called tolerant and multicultural society, and I was glad to have my eyes opened up. Despite a more TV-style approach and a few noticeable technical errors, The Australian Dream is a vital film for everyone to see and experience. I promise you will learn something positive.
Director: Daniel Gordon