In My Blood It Runs

image for In My Blood It Runs

Short takes

Not suitable under 10; parental guidance to 12 (disturbing images and scenes)

classification logo

This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for In My Blood It Runs
  • a review of In My Blood It Runs completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 24 February 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 10 Not suitable due to disturbing images and scenes.
Children aged 10–12 Parental guidance recommended due to disturbing images and scenes.
Children aged 13 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: In My Blood It Runs
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length: 85 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

In My Blood It Runs is a documentary told through the eyes of ten-year-old Aboriginal boy Dujuan Turner. Dujuan lives in an Aboriginal town called Hidden Valley, just outside of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory, with his mother Megan, his grandmother Carol and his two brothers Colin and Clevonne. Dujuan struggles to reconcile his Aboriginal heritage with the 'white Australia' culture that he has to be indoctrinated into. He sees the disparity between the 'rich' people who live in Alice Springs in nice houses and the poverty he lives in. He also knows of the disparity between how Aboriginal youth are treated and those who live in town. Carol had two of her sons sent to the Don Dale Detention Centre and Dujuan is well-aware that if he plays up, he'll end up there too.

Dujuan struggles at school where he is taught by 'white Australian' teachers about (amongst other subjects) his Dreamtime heritage and who obviously have difficulty giving it the respect it deserves. Dujuan fails many of his subjects and starts misbehaving at school. He's eventually suspended from school, which means his mother Megan loses her welfare payment for him. Grandmother Carol decides to take Dujuan ‘out bush’ for a while, to live with his father Jim, where he can go back to his traditional way of life, fishing and feeling free.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Aboriginal culture.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Dujuan and Colin play-fight.
  • Dujuan tells his Mum that he got mad at school and smashed a window.
  • One of Dujuan's Auntie's gets stabbed in the leg (not shown).
  • Footage is shown of the Don Dale Detention Centre where Aboriginal youths are physically attacked by the police, tied up to chairs and hoods placed over their heads. On one occasion a boy is beaten and stripped of his clothes.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Children are shown in the detention centre strapped to a chair with their heads covered in hoods.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Grandmother Carol lets Dujuan sit on her lap while driving a car and he steers the car.
  • A blackened kangaroo is seen being roasted on a campfire, which is then butchered with knives.
  • Carol tells the children about a mythical creature who comes out at night. He has a long nose and plays with the kids.
  • Children are seen playing on a long row of broken down, dilapidated cars.
  • Dujuan talks to his grandfather in his grave to thank him for giving him healing powers.
  • Carol tells Dujuan about the Rainbow Serpent which he's sure he's seen in the sky. She says that the Rainbow Serpent lives in the water and eats people.
  • Dujuan goes missing on a couple of occasions from school and doesn't come home. Carol drives out at night to find him. Megan tells him that the welfare will take him away from her if he does this sort of thing.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen, including the following:

  • Megan talks about how she grew up around drunks and people smoking. She got expelled at the age of 14 and became a teenage Mum.
  • Footage is shown of the Don Dale Detention Centre where children as young as ten were tied up and had hoods placed over their heads. Dujuan talks about how the kids were tortured in there by the 'Coppers' and 'cruelled'.
  • Dujuan's Auntie tells him how she was taken into detention and starved for a whole week – no breakfast, lunch or dinner. She tells him if he's naughty there are two places he'll end up in – a gaol cell or a coffin.
  • Dujuan goes to the hospital to see his Auntie who's lying in bed with a bandage wrapped around her leg. Dujuan uses his healing powers by stroking her leg. He says he saw blood on the cement and that 'his heart is beating so fast he can't feel it'.
  • Dujuan says that 'fighting's not good cos they'll bleed, then run out of blood and die'.
  • Dujuan is suspended from school for stealing the teacher's car keys and throwing them on the roof. He was also seen on camera, smashing cars.
  • Jim lets Dujuan drive a car by himself.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Coles
  • Arnott's biscuits
  • Shell
  • Weetbix
  • Saxa salt
  • Vegemite.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • A boy is shown naked from behind when he is stripped of his clothes by police.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Several characters smoke.

Coarse language

  • None noted.

In a nutshell

In My Blood It Runs is a documentary shown from the perspective of ten-year-old Aboriginal boy Dujuan Turner. It is a confronting story which shows the wide disparity between Aboriginal society and 'white' Australian society. There is some disturbing footage from the Don Dale Detention Society showing Aboriginal youths being shockingly treated by the local police force. For this reason, it isn't suitable for children under 10 and parental guidance is recommended for children aged 10 – 12. However, In My Blood It Runs is also an important story and is very well told, best suited to families with older children.

The main message from this movie is that Aboriginal kids want to live an Aboriginal life and not be forced into conforming to 'white Australian' culture.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • respect for different cultures
  • an understanding of Aboriginal culture.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • How difficult it is for Dujuan and other Aboriginal kids to fit into traditional Australian schooling and society.
  • Aboriginal kids seem to 'misbehave' in an Australian cultural sense and are then punished in an extremely brutal way. This makes Dujuan angry and leads him to want to fight for black rights when he grows up. He wants the government to leave Aboriginal kids alone and to stop killing black people. He also wants to get ‘whites’ off Aboriginal land. This is a clear inditement on the lack of progress that has been made for reconciliation between the two cultures. What should be done about this?