In My Blood It Runs is a documentary presented through the eyes of 10-year-old Aboriginal boy Dujuan Turner. Dujuan lives in a town called Hidden Valley, just outside Alice Springs, with his mother Megan, his grandmother Carol and his two brothers Colin and Clevonne.
Dujuan struggles to reconcile his Aboriginal heritage with the white Australian culture that he must fit into. He sees the difference between the comfort of rich people’s lives in Alice Springs and the poverty he lives in. He also knows that there’s a difference in the treatment of Aboriginal youth and young people who live in town. Two of Carol’s sons have been sent to the Don Dale Detention Centre, and Dujuan knows that if he plays up, he’ll end up there too.
Dujuan struggles at school where white Australian teachers teach him about his Dreamtime heritage. These teachers have trouble giving Dujuan’s heritage the respect it deserves. Dujuan fails many of his subjects and starts misbehaving at school. He’s eventually suspended from school, which means his mother Megan loses her welfare payment for him.
Carol decides to take Dujuan ‘out bush’ for a while, to live with his father, Jim. Out there he can go back to his traditional way of life, fishing and feeling free.
In My Blood It Runs has some violence. For example:
- Dujuan and Colin play fight.
- Dujuan tells his mother that he got mad at school and smashed a window.
- One of Dujuan’s aunties gets stabbed in the leg. This isn’t shown.
- Footage of the Don Dale Detention Centre shows police physically attacking Aboriginal youths. The youths are tied to chairs and have hoods over their heads. A boy is beaten and stripped of his clothes.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
In My Blood It Runs shows several people smoking.
Nudity and sexual activity
In My Blood It Runs has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, a boy is shown naked from behind when the police strip him of his clothes.
The following products are displayed or used in In My Blood It Runs: Coles, Arnott’s biscuits, Shell, Weetbix, Saxa salt and Vegemite.
Ideas to discuss with your children
In My Blood It Runs is a documentary presented from the perspective of 10-year-old Aboriginal boy Dujuan Turner. It’s a well-told and important story.
It’s a confronting look at the inequality between Aboriginal Australia and white Australia. There’s some disturbing footage of the Don Dale Detention Centre, which shows local police treating young Aboriginal people in shocking ways. For this reason, In My Blood It Runs is best suited to families with older children. It isn’t suitable for children under 10, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 10-13 years.
The main message from this movie is that Aboriginal children want to live an Aboriginal life and not be forced to conform to white Australian culture.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include respect for and understanding of different cultures, particularly Aboriginal culture.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- the difficulties that Dujuan and other Aboriginal children have when they try to fit into the white Australian education system
- progress towards reconciliation – for example, by white standards, Aboriginal children seem to ‘misbehave’ and are punished in brutal ways. This makes Dujuan angry and motivates him to fight for Aboriginal rights when he grows up. He wants the government to leave Aboriginal children alone, stop killing Aboriginal people and get off Aboriginal land. What can be done about these issues?