Skip to main content

A LITTLE LIFE

Australia, 1988 (MIFF 1989)

Director: Deborah Howlett

Ricci Vicenti was nineteen when he was shot dead by authorities in Canning Vale Remand Centre. He was in remand on a charge involving the theft of groceries, valued at seventy-five dollars. The tower guard was found by the Coroner to have committed 'justifiable homicide' and to have acted in the course of duty, as Ricci was trying to escape when he was shot.

His death in Perth, Western Australia, in 1982, is one of ovet 100 cases which is currently being investigated by the Muirhead Royal Commission into Aboriginal deaths in custody. Deborah Hewlett's treatment is a discursive celebration of Ricci's life through archival and home movie footage with on­screen testimony of Ricci's mother, and non-Aboriginal foster mother.

Far from current affairs in its approach, constructing neither simple causes nor allocating blame, it provides insights to Ricci Vicenti's individuality in an historical and social context. In so doing the film has developed its politically important story without reducing its absent, central character to simply signify 'Aboriginal'. - (JH)

See also...

The Last Supper

An Italian family after a funeral Indifference, machismo and repressed sexuality lead to an unravelling of dreams which holds the key to an old woman's death A psychological detective story. - (CK) ... More »

Jack the Rabbit

Jack the Rabbit has escaped Jack has no scruples, no morals He hunts detective Mickey Juliette, as he was once hunted. ... Mickey leaves a trail of broken hearts, Jack a trail of death one day they ... More »

35 Summers

With a certain cynicism and lack of modesty I offer to you the story of the wanderer and his shadow. Not a Diary Film since the events depicted are filled with symbolism, error, vagueness and lies ... More »

Dr. Plughole

Matthew's evening bath is interrupted by a visit from the water wizard, 'Dr Plughole'. Combining animation and live action into a comic adventure, 'Dr Plughole' shows young Matthew how exciting the ... More »

Bertolt

A black and white portrait of a disturbed young man who lives with his mute sister and wakes one morning to eat porridge and go on an incredible journey. This film won eight awards in the third ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director