Who Killed Malcom Smith?


Malcolm Charles Smith was taken from his family as an 11-year-old boy, like many other Aboriginal children, and lived a life of institutionalisation and emotional and educational deprivation. He ended up in prison where he took his own life in December 1982. His death shocked the entire country.

Ten years later, Richard Frankland tried to make sense of the man's tragic passing in the documentary film Who Killed Malcolm Smith?

In the process, Frankland was deeply critical of the state government for not taking the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody seriously.

In the film, Frankland (who originally helped investigate Malcolm’s death for the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody) revisits Malcolm's family and friends 10 years after his death. Through them, we hear the story of this man’s life and how the Aboriginal prison population doubled between 1987 and 1991.


Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


Richard Franklin - narrator
PG - Parental guidance

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2020, Who Killed Malcom Smith?, <>, retrieved 13 July 2020

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