Abstract: Call Me Mum is an unconventional Stolen Generations film that premiered at the Sydney Film Festival in 2006 and won several Australian Film Institute awards in the following year. This highly stylised, theatrical film explores the experiences of mothers and children involved in the removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their birth families. Originally envisioned as a four part series of monologues, it is loosely based on writer Katherine Mary Fallon’s experiences as a white foster mother of a disabled indigenous child. Call Me Mum adds to a growing collective of films that depict indigenous women, cross-cultural relations and family dynamics in interesting and complex ways. This article uses the idea of a “genderslide” (a misquotation of genocide by one of the main characters) to explain the influence that the three strong but deeply flawed lead female characters in this film have on their son/grandson, as well as the impact of Call Me Mum on viewers. It is the conceptual spaces that constitute the idea of family that I argue are re-shaped by this conflicted depiction of intimate black/white, mother/child relations in Australia.
Keywords: Margot Nash; Call Me Mum; Australian cinema; stolen generations; cross-cultural relations.
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