Program
Director: Heather Croall
2020
Australia
84 minutes
All Ages

A letter to my father. An elegy for a man, a town and a dream.

Set in the industrial town of Whyalla, this is an intimate portrait of John Croall, a Glaswegian immigrant to Australia, and the father of long-time Adelaide Fringe director, Heather Croall. John Croall delivered three generations of babies and planted thousands of trees in the town. He was also a great letter writer, and this very personal documentary uses these letters as its point of departure. Heather Croall films with her father as a way of coping with his approaching death and reflecting on the close, and often very funny, relationship between a father and a daughter. This opens up an exploration that transcends individual grief and loss, to encompass the broader issues raised by a man’s life. As John Croall is dying, so the town of Whyalla is slowly dying too. But on the horizon there is hope of a new industry with solar farms and a possible new buyer for the steelworks. The trees John Croall planted in the desert live on and amongst the harsh reality of change, and this film offers hope as the town reinvents itself.

Film Type Documentary
Program Strand AFF Investment Fund, Best of the Fest
Premiere World
Language English
Director Heather Croall
Producer Heather Croall
Screenwriters Heather Croall, Karin Altmann
Cinematographer Heather Croall, Liam Somerville, Miles Rowland, Sieh McHawala
Editor Tania Nehme
Music Victoria Falconer-Pritchard
Genre Environmental, Family