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CALL ME MUM

Year: 2008

Classification: Exempt - Ronin Recommends: PG

Runtime: 76 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Margot Nash

Produced By: Michael McMahon

Language: English

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Set in the recent past, the AFI award-winning Call Me Mum is a series of interlinked monologues where five characters unravel a complex tale of mothering, race relations and family in Australia.

Kate (Catherine McClements) is on a plane taking Warren (Dayne Christian), her 18 year old Torres Strait Islander foster son, to meet Flo (Vicki Saylor), his birth mother, who is gravely ill in hospital in Brisbane.

Flo hasn't seen Warren since she took him to the hospital on Thursday Island when he was a toddler and the white authorities took him away. But as Warren, Flo and Kate all prepare themselves for the reunion, unbeknown to them, Kate's Brisbane-based parents, Dellmay (Lynette Curran) and Keith (Ross Thompson), are planning a different kind of reunion.

Director - Margot Nash
Writer - Kathleen Mary Fallon
Producer - Michael McMahon
Photography – Andrew de Groot
Editor – Denis Haratzis
Production designer – Patrick Reardon
Music Composer – David Bridie
Script editors – Margot Nash, Alison Tilson, Glenda Hambly
Indigenous script consultants – Ephraim Bani, Auntie Ella Pitt, Ricardo Idagi

With: Catherine McClements (Kate), Vicki Saylor (Flo)
Lynette Curran (Dellmay), Dayne Christian (Warren), Ross Thompson (Keith)

Dedicated to the memory of Ephraim Bani (1944-2004) and to the Torres Strait Islanders who have devoted their lives to the preservation of Torres Strait Island languages and culture.

Developed and produced with the assistance of Film Victoria
Produced with assistance from the New South Wales Film and Television Office
Developed and produced in association with the Australian Film Commission
Developed and produced in association with SBS Independent

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Winner of AFI Awards, 2007, for:

Best Supporting Actress in Television Drama - Vicki Saylor
Outstanding achievement in Television Screen Craft - Paddy Reardon

And Nominated for:

Best Lead Actress in Television Drama - Catherine McClements
Best Supporting Actress in Television Drama - Lynette Curran

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NOTE: For films featuring Ephraim Bani in the Ronin collection, see Cracks in the Mask and The Tombstone Opening.

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"Margot Nash's Call Me Mum is among the finest of recent Australian films and certainly one of the most affecting and resonant." - Adrian Martin, The Monthly, February 2007

Margot Nash is interviewed by Felicity Collins about the film, in an article available from The ATOM Education Shop. Visit: theeducationshop.com.au/

"Call Me Mum is an unconventional Stolen Generations film that premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2006 and won several Australian Film Institute awards in the following year. This highly stylised, theatrical film explores the experiences of mothers and children involved in the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their birth families. Originally envisioned as a four part series of monologues, it is loosely based on writer Katherine Mary Fallon's experiences as a white foster mother of a disabled indigenous child. Call Me Mum adds to a growing collective of films that depict indigenous women, cross-cultural relations and family dynamics in interesting and complex ways. This article uses the idea of a "genderslide" (a misquotation of genocide by one of the main characters) to explain the influence that the three strong but deeply flawed lead female characters in this film have on their son/grandson, as well as the impact of Call Me Mum on viewers. It is the conceptual spaces that constitute the idea of family that I argue are re-shaped by this conflicted depiction of intimate black/white, mother/child relations in Australia."

- Abstract of an article. "Family Tremors: Margot Nash's Call me Mum", by Pauline Marsh, in EASA Vol 4, no 1-2 (2013)

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