Michael Riley’s experimental short film Poison was made in response to a Rolling Stone article, ‘Seven little Australians’, which detailed the tragic lives of Aboriginal teenage girls at the hands of drugs. Switching between colour dream sequences and black-and-white dramatic narrative, Poison documents the effects of heroin overdoses around The Block in Redfern, Sydney. The film shares themes with his 1992 photographic series Sacrifice, which references substance abuse. Riley’s work on this film was celebrated at the New York Film Festival in 1991, where he won the Golden Tripod Award and the Bronze Award for Best Short Television Drama. Written and produced by Riley, with Vaughan Hilton as executive producer, Poison stars Indigenous actress Lydia Miller in the main role.
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