Dujuan Hoosan is a 10-year-old boy who can speak three languages, knows his cultural history, and has been trained to become a healer. He is a natural born leader in his community, but at school he faces failing grades.
Dujuan tells his story in a powerful film, In My Blood It Runs. This new documentary shows his emotional journey, navigating between traditional cultures, modern life and how to find a prosperous future.
The film is part of a movement to engage audiences in Australia – and around the world – to help shift narratives, build support for an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education system, and work towards a restorative justice system.
Shockingly, Australia’s Indigenous children are 24 times more likely to be locked up than their non-Indigenous classmates. In My Blood It Runs addresses how the westernised education system is set up to fail young boys like Dujuan.
Directed by Maya Newell, and made in collaboration with Dujuan and his family in Mparntwe (Alice Springs, Central Australia), In My Blood It Runs tackles First Nations' education issues and the juvenile justice systiem – placing the often missing voice of children, front and centre.
After three years in the making the film had its 'in competition' world premiere at Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival in Toronto – the biggest documentary film festival in North America– where it was greeted with standing ovations and moving reviews.
Dujuan and his family (including his parents, older brother, younger sister and two grandmothers) travelled all the way from the Northern Territory to attend the festival. It was the first time Dujuan had been on a plane, and the first time any of the family had been overseas.
Throughout the documentary the audience experiences Alice Springs through Dujuan’s eyes. Every day in the classroom Dujuan’s strength as a child-healer and Arrernte language speaker goes unnoticed. And while he likes school, his report cards don’t reflect this – instead they make him feel like there is something wrong with him.
Education is universally understood as a ticket to success, but for Dujuan, school becomes a site of displacement and he starts running away from the classroom. Dujuan cannot run nor fight alone and he faces a history that runs straight into him. He realises that not only has he inherited the trauma and dispossession of his land, but also the strength, resilience and resistance of many generations of his people. It is this that holds the key to his future.
The Toronto premiere marked the beginning of the film’s multi-year release, with the Australian premiere coming up next at the Sydney Film Festival in June. The film will feature in festivals around the world in 2019 and release in cinemas, online and in schools in 2020.
Virgin Unite has been proud to support the film and is looking forward to people all over the world engaging with Dujuan's story. The film aligns with several projects supported by Virgin Unite including Children’s Ground and the prison reform work of Human Rights Law Centre. We encourage you to learn about them and support their incredibly important work.
To show your support and to stay up to date on In My Blood It Runs join the mailing list and follow Maya, Dujuan and the team on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram