The Tall Man


The Tall Man is the story of Palm Island, a tropical paradise in Australia's Far North. It is the story of Cameron Doomadgee, who in 2004 was arrested for swearing at Senior Sergeant Chris Hurley - the 'tall man' of the title. 45 minutes later, Doomadgee was dead.

This extraordinary documentary takes the audience into the coronial inquest; into the riot that rocketed the story to the nation's front pages; the charging of Hurley for murder and into the once notorious Queensland police force. We see the impact on Doomadgee's family and the Indigenous community of Palm Island - a place where people live lives like no others, have a relationship with the land like no others, and a history, culture and a catastrophic present like no others. This is Australia, but an Australia few of us have seen.

Based on the award-winning book by Chloe Hooper, The Tall Man is a gripping and provocative film that exposes the inescapable complexities of Australia's racial politics, and a haunting moral puzzle that no viewer will forget.

What you get to see is these individuals who have largely been left out of the bigger story. Audiences will get to see the tragedy and pain and resilience written on the faces of those people.

— Darren Dale, producer of The Tall Man
Portrait of Lloyd Doomadgee
Mulrunji Doomadgee's brother Lloyd Doomadgee appears in the film The Tall Man. Photo: Hamish Cairns

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Murrandoo Yanner
Lloyd Doomadgee
Elizabeth Doomadgee
Release dates
2 March 2011 - World premiere at the Adelaide Film Festival
17 November 2011 - Australia
Video/DVD release date
8 February 2012
2011 - Walkley Award for best Long Form Journalism
M - Mature
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Tony Krawitz also wrote the script, based on the book The Tall Man by Chloe Hooper.

The filmmakers failed to persuade Senior-Sergeant Chris Hurley, the arresting officer, to be in the film, although he is a voice and a presence in several revealing pieces of footage.

Following traditional Aboriginal protocol of not naming the dead by their real names, Cameron Doomadgee was named Mulrunji after his death.

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View article sources (1)

[1] 'Breaking out of cinema's dark cube', The Australian, 9/2/2011

Cite this page

Korff, J 2018, The Tall Man, <>, retrieved 21 April 2024

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