A Little Life


A Little Life is a film about Ricci John Vicenti, a 19 year old Aboriginal youth (1963-1982), who was shot while attempting to escape from Canning Vale Remand Centre in Perth, Western Australia, in 1982.

Ricci had been arrested for attempting to steal $75 worth of groceries to feed his wife and baby.

Deborah Hewlett's treatment is a discursive celebration of Ricci's life through archival and home movie footage with testimony of Ricci's mother and non-Aboriginal foster mother.

Far from current affairs in its approach, constructing neither simple causes nor allocating blame, it provides insights to Ricci Vicenti's individuality in an historical and social context. In so doing the film has developed its politically important story without reducing its absent, central character to simply signify 'Aboriginal'.

A Little Life creates a moving portrait of one individual life behind the stark statistics of Aboriginal deaths in custody and inadequacies of the Western Australian legal system.


Heather Vincent - mother
Release dates
3 November 1988 - SBS
PG - Parental guidance
Visque Pty Ltd

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, A Little Life, <>, retrieved 14 June 2021

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