Slim & I

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Short takes

Not suitable under 8; parental guidance to 10 (themes, possible lack of interest)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Slim & I
  • a review of Slim & I completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 14 September 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not suitable due to themes and possible lack of interest.
Children aged 8–10 Parental guidance recommended due to themes and possible lack of interest.
Children over the age of 10 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: Slim & I
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language
Length: 117 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Slim & I is a documentary about the lives of Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean, as told from Joy's perspective. Joy McKean was a well-known country singer who sang with her sister Heather as the McKean Sisters, long before she met Slim. As a child, Joy contracted polio, which left her paralysed in one leg and meant a long period of three years of separation from her parents and family. Joy credits this experience with giving her a determination and ambition that she otherwise might not have had. She was, additionally, a very talented song writer who wrote most of the songs that made Slim Dusty famous.

Joy met Slim at a show in which they were both performing, and they fell in love and married at a young age. Slim and Joy had two children, Anne and David, whom they took with them everywhere they went on a travelling roadshow. They spent 8 months of the year travelling to various country and remote towns, including many Aboriginal settlements, where they were well loved. Many contemporary country artists are featured in the movie, singing Joy's songs including Keith Urban, Kasey Chambers and Missy Higgins. During his life, Slim recorded 107 albums and was the longest recording star for EMI – over 60 years. Joy McKean is now ninety years old and still writing music.


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.

Music; Life on the road; Separation from parents.

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:

  • A man is seen riding a bucking horse at a rodeo and gets thrown off. It looks like he might be trampled by the horse.
  • At a country fair, a boxing match is shown in which a man gets knocked out.
  • Rifle shooting is also shown at the fair.

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:

  • Nothing in addition to the above-mentioned scenes.

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:

  • At the age of 4, Joy became paralysed in both legs. She was diagnosed with polio and spent 3 years in treatment and separated from her family. One of her legs eventually started to work but she must wear calipers on her other leg for the rest of her life.
  • There is a discussion about the death of Slim's father when Slim was 17 years old. He felt a heavy burden of the responsibility of having to run the family farm and take care of his Mum. Ultimately, he chose the life of a musician and walked away from the farm.

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:

  • Joy is quite tearful when she recalls sending David to boarding school at the age of 6 ½. David is also interviewed about this and seems to have been quite affected by this decision.
  • Towards the end of Slim's life he developed kidney cancer (from which he died) and became quite aggressive at times.

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:

  • EMI records.

Sexual references

  • None noted.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

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

  • Drinking at various venues – at the pub, at a function etc.
  • Slim smokes quite frequently, including cigars and pipes.

Coarse language

There is occasional coarse language in this movie, including:

  • Take the piss.
  • Getting pissed.
  • Bummed.

In a nutshell

Slim & I is a biographical documentary which includes a lot of archival footage from the early lives of Slim Dusty and his wife Joy McKean. The film includes interviews with Joy and her sister Heather, as well as many contemporary country music singers and commentators. Slim and Joy brought a lot of happiness to many people and while this might have come at the expense of others, they will leave a much treasured legacy in the history of Australian country music. Due to the nature and content of the movie, the film is not suitable for children under 8 and parental guidance is recommended for ages 8 – 10.

The main messages from this movie are to follow your dreams at all costs and that success requires a lot of hard work.

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

  • Creative expression
  • Determination
  • Ambition
  • Bringing joy to others
  • Caring about those less fortunate.

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 was for Joy to send her young son to boarding school, thinking she was doing the right thing by him.
  • To be successful in life, it often comes at the cost of neglecting what is expected of us by society's standards.