Angels Gather Here follows Jacki Trapman’s journey back to her hometown of Brewarrina to celebrate her parents, Bill and Barbara’s 60th Wedding Anniversary. Going home is never easy for Jacki. Amidst the family celebrations she reflects on her life; her story symbolising the strength, dignity and resilience of many Aboriginal people in the face of adversity.
Interview with Writer/Director Ian Hamilton
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I wanted to take a mainstream audience into the home of one Aboriginal family and look at the world from their perspective.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The film offers the audience a unique insight into the lives of one Aboriginal family and how government policy and racist public opinion have affected them on a personal level over four generations.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
The personal themes of loss, guilt and trauma are explored through Jacki Trapman's own personal struggle with alcohol and the resulting loss of her memory and sense of self through addiction.
These universal themes are also explored on a broader scale with grief, loss and trauma continuing to have a negative effect on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
The film also explores the social determinants and forces that impact on our lives and mental and physical health.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
When I first met Jacki Trapman and her family I was immediately struck by the family’s dignity, resilience and sense of humour in the face of adversity.
I was attracted to the potential of the story to juxtapose the achievement of Jacki’s parent’s 60 year marriage against her own personal struggles as well as the average life expectancy of many Aboriginal people in Australia.
Over the last 10 years I gave gotten to know Jacki and her family and we have become close friends. Collaborating with her on this film has been an amazing privilege and she has always been so brave and honest. We’ve had an ongoing dialogue around Jacki's responsibility for her own life choices versus the social determinants that have impacted on her life.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Very positive feedback from Aboriginal Academics and other mainstream audiences.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Hope to create more discussion and empathy around issues concerning Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander people including closing the gap in health.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Ronin Films is distributing the film so at this stage more festivals and interest from other journalists would be great.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Would like the film to raise awareness and create debate in mainstream audiences.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
To what extent can we attribute some of the major health issues facing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people today on the ripple effects of government policy on the stolen generation and their descendants.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Currently working on a number of projects including developing education resources in child protection and indigenous health.
Interview: June 2017
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Angels Gather Here
Going Home is Never Easy
Director: Ian Hamilton
Producer: Anna Kelly
Writer: Ian Hamilton
About the writer, director and producer:
In 2000, Ian and his wife/co-producer Dr Anna Kelly founded Limelight Films to produce films and content that supported their passion for health and education promotion in the community.Ian and Anna produced the feature documentary “Honeymoon in Kabul.” which screened on the ABC in 2009 and won the US Zero Film Awards LA and New York Audience Choice Award.The film raised $20,000 in charity screenings for Afghan children and is now distributed internationally for television broadcast.Ian and Anna have also collaborated on episodes of Australian Story ‘including producing and shooting documentary sequences for “Call of Duty”in 2013. Call of Duty follows Chief Inspector Peter Fox who rose to national prominence in 2013 when he defied police rules and disclosed explosive allegations that the Catholic Church had consistently covered up the crimes of paedophile priests in the Newcastle Hunter region of NSW.
Key cast: Jacki Trapman
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists):
Distributed by Ronin Films. Looking for more festivals and publicity.