Adam Goodes was a champion AFL footballer and Indigenous leader. In the final three years of his playing career he became a lightning rod for a heated public debate and widespread media commentary that divided the nation.
He publicly called out racism, was named Australian of the Year, was accused of staging for free kicks, and performed an on-field war dance celebration.
The cheers became boos as football crowds turned on him.
Using only archival footage aired at the time, THE FINAL QUARTER holds a mirror to Australia and is an opportunity to reconsider what happened on and off the football field.
Director Ian Darling’s credits include Paul Kelly – Stories of Me, The Oasis, Suzy & the Simple Man, In the Company of Actors, Alone Across Australia, Woodstock for Capitalists and Polly & Me. He was an executive producer of 2040, The Fourth Estate, The Bleeding Edge, Unrest, Inventing Tomorrow and How to Change the World.
Ian says about THE FINAL QUARTER: “As a filmmaker, I’m drawn to strong characters and what their individual stories can tell us about who we are as Australians. I wanted to know more about why, and how, Goodes had come to be at the centre of this storm that had led to such heated debate and divided the nation.
Adam Goodes did not play a part in making THE FINAL QUARTER but supports the film.
Adam Goodes says: “THE FINAL QUARTER is an independent film that tells the story of what happened during the last three years of my career, before I retired in 2015.
“It’s made from archival sources and although I didn’t play a part in making it, I’ve given the film my support.
“As confronting as I have found the film, I look forward to the conversation it will help generate.’’
One of Australia’s most celebrated singer-songwriters, Paul Kelly, has written a song for THE FINAL QUARTER, Every Day My Mother’s Voice, about Adam Goodes and his mum Lisa.
Adam Goodes says he loves the song: “Paul is one of my favourite Australian musicians and it’s a huge honour to know that he’s written a song that pays tribute to my mum Lisa.
“And to have Dan Sultan singing with Paul is awesome and makes it even more special for me. My Mum has been such a significant influence in my life, and this song captures the spirit of our relationship and my love for her.
“My heartfelt thanks to Paul Kelly for understanding that and turning it into this beautiful song for THE FINAL QUARTER film.’’
THE FINAL QUARTER will premiere at the Sydney Film Festival on Friday June 7 at 8.45pm and will also screen on another three dates at the Festival – June 8 at 7pm, June 9 at 9.30am and June 15 at 11.45am.
The film will then be broadcast on Australian television later this year.
Darling’s production company, Shark Island Productions, will donate all proceeds from any broadcast, theatrical and online sales and screenings of the film to a number of non-profit community organisations.
In addition, all philanthropic grants and donations received by the Shark Island Institute (the philanthropic arm of Shark Island Productions) in support of the film will be directed to creating a comprehensive education package and outreach program. This will include school curriculum resources, study guides, screening guides and regional touring programs.
THE FINAL QUARTER and all education resources and screening guide materials will be donated to every school and registered sporting club in Australia.