Adam Goodes was a champion AFL footballer and Indigenous leader.

In the final three years of his playing career he became a lightning rod for a heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation.

He publicly called out racism, was named Australian of the Year, was accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration.

The cheers became boos as football crowds turned on him.

Using only archival footage aired at the time, the film holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field.


The treatment of Sydney Swans footballer Adam Goodes during the last three years of his playing career deeply affected me. Here was a champion footballer, an outstanding Indigenous leader and the 2014 Australian of the Year, being booed and taunted by fans at stadiums across the nation.

I was very disturbed by it, as it seemed to be racially motivated. But I was also confused. I didn’t fully understand what had provoked the crowd’s behaviour and why a person who had been considered the best and fairest AFL player in the land, was now the subject of constant vitriol.

During the 2015 season I also saw another side of Australians. I was at the game at the Sydney Cricket Ground late in the 2015 season when Goodes was noticeably absent from the Swans team. He’d taken leave after months of enduring what he called ‘negative energy’.

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Ian Darling, Director
April 2019
Ian Darling
Mary Macrae & Ian Darling
Sally Fryer
Executive Producer
Malinda Wink
Executive Producer
Mark Monroe
Executive Producers
Mark Nelson & Will Vicars
Archive Researcher
Lindy Boylan
Paul Charlier
Sound Designer
Wes Chew
Paul Ducco
Edit Assistant
Andrew Hall
Media Director
Jen McAsey
Education Director
Alex Shain
Tracey Mair