Stunning Adam Goodes Documentary 'The Final Quarter' Received a Standing Ovation at Its World Premiere

It's the first of two films about the champion Sydney Swans footballer to hit Australian cinemas this year.
Sarah Ward
June 08, 2019

Whether tearing up football fields across during his 372-game stint for the Sydney Swans, or standing up against prejudice both in the AFL and in Australian in general, Adam Goodes' name has been splashed across the headlines plenty of times over the past two decades. That's not going to change in 2019, but for a different reason — the dual Brownlow medallist and 2014 Australian of the Year is the subject of two documentaries, with each exploring his story on and off the field, including the racism he endured over his 17-season playing career.

The first film, The Final Quarter, just launched at the Sydney Film Festival, premiering to a packed house on Friday, June 7 and receiving a standing ovation from the lively audience afterwards. Directed by Ian Darling, and solely compiled from archival material — in a technique reminiscent of another great sports doco in recent years, Senna — it's a powerful and impassioned chronicle of the treatment Goodes received from crowds and commentators alike. Unsurprisingly, it's also both moving in displaying the AFL champ's dignified response to such horrors, and infuriating in its thorough examination of his ordeal.

As the name suggests, The Final Quarter focuses on the last stages of Goodes' time in the AFL — when he was verbally attacked by spectators and high-profile media figures, relentlessly booed at games, put under immense scrutiny for celebrating his Indigenous heritage, accused of staging for free kicks and ultimately chose not to play for a period due to the toll he was under. As Darling astutely realised, the footage says it all. The documentary intertwines media clips from Goodes' games, general AFL coverage, news stories, press conferences and interviews from the era to paint a heartbreaking picture of the ex-Swans captain's experiences.

As essential for the broader public as it is for football fans, the film is set for both a cinema and television release later this year, Just hours before the premiere — but nearly four years after Goodes retired at the end of the 2015 season, notably — the AFL and its 18 clubs released a long-overdue statement that apologised "unreservedly for our failures" in not standing up for him during his career.

The second Goodes-focused doco, The Australian Dream, will surface in August. It's written by acclaimed journalist Stan Grant, and will open the Melbourne International Film Festival before hitting theatres around the country.

Check out the trailer for The Final Quarter below:

The Final Quarter will release in Australian cinemas later this year. We'll update you with a release date when one is announced.

Published on June 08, 2019 by Sarah Ward
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