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.
“Full of wit and vigour, Heather Croall’s film will charm Australian and Glaswegian audiences alike. It’s a chronicle of a life well lived” – Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film
“The doco is well-made (the editing by Tania Nehme particularly strong), but it is it’s subject matter that makes this documentary so lovely” – Brydie Kosmina, Collage Adelaide
“The documentary captures the impact of an astounding character with this story about immigration” – Pat Byrne, Glasgow West End
“The way the film is edited creates a lovely story out of the material shot over years by Croall, and is perfectly paced” – Katherine Prentice, Glasgow Guardian
Adelaide Film Festival, Glasgow Film Festival, Doc Edge International Film Festival, Adelaide Fringe
- Adelaide Film Festival: Audience Award, Documentary
- Doc Edge International Film Festival: Superhero Award