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Deadly Yarns 2 – Frankie’s Story (2006)


Frank Rowe (playing himself) recalls the day in primary school when he was excluded from a class excursion to the local fire station. Young Frankie (Antionne Forrest-Yarran) responds to the pain of exclusion by focusing on drawing a fire engine. When he starts a small fire to burn his drawing, the fire gets out of control and Frankie ends up bringing the fire trucks to him.

Curator’s notes

Frankie’s Story begins with the statement ‘some things that happen when you’re a child mark you for life’. This short film tells of what happened to Frank Rowe as a child and how the experience affected his adult life. The beauty of this story resides in how Frankie overcame the pain of racial discrimination.

Frankie, now an artist, shared this story with his friend the acclaimed actor David Ngoombujarra. Ngoombujarra then wrote and directed it as Frankie’s Story, part of the Deadly Yarns Indigenous short film series.

This film highlights the importance of storytelling from an Aboriginal perspective and provides an insight into an Aboriginal child’s experience of institutionalised racial discrimination in Australia.

Frankie’s Story was broadcast on ABC Television as part of Message Stick in 2006.