New on ABC iView: The Australian Dream and Year of the Rabbit

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ABC iView is currently screening The Australian Dream, one of two feature length documentaries made about the AFL player Adam Goodes to be completed last year. It is essential, emotional viewing. Goodes, whose mother is Aboriginal and part of the stolen generation, found himself, having reached the absolute highest echelons of his sport (he twice won the Brownlow Medal for Fairest and Best in the league), in a nightmarish situation involving crowd behaviour, racism, and, of course, horrendous social media. While the situation ultimately led Goodes to a greater understanding of his own Aboriginality, it was an education forged in sadness and bile.

The film was written by Stan Grant, an Aboriginal ABC journalist who identified enough with Goodes’ story to use it as the basis for a seminal speech on Australian racism and subsequently this film. His thoughts on the matter are eloquent, precise, and angry (although his manner is unflappably cool), and his film, directed by Daniel Gordon, is likewise a clear-eyed screed, a dignified rebuke, and a vital document. * * * *

Also brand new to ABC iView is Year of the Rabbit, a new British half hour comedy series starring Matt Berry (Toast of London, What We Do In The Shadows, Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace). Set in a suitably grimy Victorian-era London, Berry plays a homicide detective, Rabbit, who, in ep one, gets circumstantially teamed up with a couple of younger sidekicks while investigating a series of murders linked to a secret society. It’s deadpan funny with a side of Pythonesque period parody, but also surprisingly compelling as a cop show, even as it spoofs the genre. I legitimately look forward to watching this trio of coppers as they embark into an ever-seamier and very well designed East End of The Big Smoke; they’ve already got spark and sizzle.

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