Review Blog

Nov 13 2018

Kin, an extraordinary Australian filmmaking family edited by Amanda Duthie

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Wakefield Press, 2018. ISBN 9781743056028
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Non-fiction. This book is a tribute to the amazing Australian family pioneering Indigenous radio, cinema and television - Freda Glynn, and her children Warwick Thornton and Erica Glynn, and the next generation, Dylan River and Tanith Glyn-Maloney, have changed our media, making opportunities for the stories of Aboriginal people to be seen and heard, giving voice to people previously ignored, and enriching our culture for all.
The Don Dunstan Award is presented by the Board of the Adelaide Film Festival to recognise those who have significantly enriched Australian screen culture. Previous recipients have included actor David Gulpilil, director Rolf de Heer, director Scott Hicks, critics Stratton and Pomeranz, and in 2018 the award goes not to one person but to an iconic Alice Springs family of three generations who have had an enormous and ongoing influence on Australian film and other media. The award could have gone to any one of them alone, but by drawing the connection between each of the family members, it gives recognition to the special culture of family and community and the unique creative vision that imbues them all.
Freda Glynn provided the Aboriginal community connection needed to drive the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) and also the Imparja television station. Her son Warwick Thornton (director of Samson and Delilah, and Sweet Country) and her daughter Erica Glynn (In my own words, and Truth be told) are renowned filmmakers. Freda's grandchildren Dylan River (director of the documentary Buckskin) and Tanith Glynn-Maloney (actor and film producer) continue the family contribution to a unique and creative film culture.
The book Kin brings together the memories and stories of people who have worked with Freda and her family: Dr Philip Batty provides a history of CAAMA; there is praise from respected Australians like Deb Mailman, Bruce Pascoe and Larissa Behrendt, leaders in their own fields; Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton add their tributes; and praise from international figures such as Maryanne Redpath (Berlin) and Faye Ginsberg (New York). These are just a few of the voices, the influence of the Glynn family has spread far and wide, and each essay or poem adds another facet to their story. It is a strong and talented family group that Australian audiences should be appreciative and very proud of.
Helen Eddy

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