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Palm Island, 2004. An Aboriginal man dies in police custody. Members of the Palm Island community make a direct challenge to police power and the police station is torched. Eight years later, the people of Palm Island continue to demand real justice, and all the while life continues. ILBIJERRI Theatre Company, Belvoir and the Palm Island community have come together to interpret these events against the full sweep of the island’s history.
The result is Beautiful One Day.
An antidote to the relentlessly negative media coverage, Beautiful One Day interweaves the stories of Palm Island, the diktats of white Australia, and the voices of the community. Made through conversation, through argument, through long walks and frequent eruptions of joyfulness, this is a show about what an honest talk might really look like.
As raw as it is shocking, this theatrical documentary stars three Palm Islanders, including Doomadgee's niece, in their first stage appearances, and intersperses personal stories of the performers with interviews with locals, court transcripts, and re-enactments. It captures the horrible reality of an unnecessary death and the Palm Islanders’ remarkable humanity, wisdom and determination to forgive.
"Anger, humour and hope are finely balanced in this warm and illuminating evening of theatre. Of the many and varied stage experiences seen this year, this stands out as one of the essential." (Sydney Morning Herald)
“The cast weaves reportage, interviews, transcripts ad documents with sound and video to create a vivid, poignant, political and often unexpectedly funny work of theatre that demands our full attention, deserves it and rewards it." (Sun-Herald)
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EXTRACT: I remember my Dad didnâ€™t like going for the rations â€“ he built a large cart for my sisters and I to get rations. We had to say his name â€˜Tom Geiaâ€™ and we would be given tea, barley, flour, syrup, sugar; and at the Babiesâ€™ Clinic we would get pumpkin and potato, Sunshine milk, porridge, baby needs. Our Dad was a gardener, fisherman, and hunter and a man who worked many jobs to supplement income.
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