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BLACK CHICKS TALKING

Australia, 2002 (MIFF 2002, Australian Showcase)

Director: Leah Purcell

Black Chicks Talking is an engaging documentary that filters the politics and issues of Black Australia through the lives of five contemporary Aboriginal women of disparate backgrounds. The feature comes direct to MIFF after inclusion as the only non-US documentary in the inaugural Tribeca Film Festival. Held in downtown Manhattan in May, Tribeca was organised by Robert De Niro and backed by Meryl Streep, Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee as a celebration of emerging filmmakers the world over.

The women at the heart of the film include Deborah Mailman, AFI award-winning actress (Radiance, MIFF 1998, Rabbit Proof Fence, The Secret Life of Us); Kathryn Hay, 1999 Miss Australia; Rosanna Angus, warden of her traditional Bardi, One Arm Point community; Tammy Williams, accomplished lawyer and Cilla Mallone, mother of six from the Cherbourg community.

In her debut as filmmaker, multi-talented novelist and actor Leah Purcell (Claudia in Lantana) has framed the women's experiences at the immediate level of a 'girls night out'. While Purcell, herself an Indigenous Australian, was mindful of the broader politics of the documentary, the film remains energetic, witty and optimistic.

Leah Purcell (director) and Bain Stewart (producer) are guests of the Festival

Leah Purcell, born in 1970, grew up in Murgon in regional Queensland. She acted in the TV series Police Rescue and Fallen Angels, and in the film Lantana. Black Chicks Talking, based on her book of the same name, is her directorial debut.

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