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Australia, 2008 (MIFF 2008, Homegrown)

Director: Edward Martin

“Australia's own buried idol… he was a world champion, a former Australian of the Year, a musician with Number 1 hits and the greatest Aboriginal boxer of all time.” - filmmaker Eddie Martin

Tokyo 1968, Japanese boxer Fighting Harada loses the world bantamweight title after 15 rounds, propelling the victor Lionel Rose into the history books as the first ever Aboriginal world championship boxer. Returning to Melbourne, Lionel was greeted by 250,000 people filling the streets to hail him a hero; he went on to become Australian of the Year, and an icon of interracial politics.

Combining vibrant long-lost archival material, modern day footage and candid interviews, Lionel is a biopic about an often-forgotten Australian champion who took on the world against all odds and won.

Edward Martin, Lizette Atkins and Lionel Rose are guests of the festival.

D Edward Martin P Lizzette Atkins S David Tiley Dist Siren Visual TD digibeta/2008/80mins

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