“When is a concert film more than a concert film? When it's Wash My Soul in the River's Flow...Bateman could've just used her recordings of the legendary show, which won the 2005 Helpmann Award for Best Australian Contemporary Concert, and given everyone who wasn't there the chance to enjoy an historic event — and to bask in the now-late Hunter's on-stage glories more than a decade after her 2010 passing — but that was clearly just the starting point for her movie… Championing two First Nations icons, their culture and their connection to Country; exploring the injustice they've endured at the hands of the government, and how they've ultimately thrived and healed together and through their talents; and showcasing the art they've made and the land they love — this moving movie couldn't ask for anything more. Letting it wash over you, and its silent hero and rowdy troublemaker with it, is simply inescapable.”
A meditation on love, land and the power of connection
“This [is] a transcendent piece of cinema, that demands viewing on a big cinema screen. Throughout it cuts to arresting, ethereal images of the Murray River, at rest and at play on vast Australian landscapes. The river of the film’s title, a spiritual and cultural touchstone for Hunter and Roach, stands in wordless vigil over the proceedings… Thus director Philippa Bateman’s repurposing of the 2004 concert film makes something new and distinctive from something old. Appropriately, in this it achieves something similar to the concert itself, in which the arrangements by AAO’s Paul Grabowsky transformed Hunter and Roach’s songs. It is a testament and a tribute to the strength of the songwriting that they stand up to such sometimes radical reinterpretation.”
AFTERNOONS W/ JACINTA PARSONS FEAT. DIRECTOR / PRODUCER PHILIPPA BATEMAN
"A film that blew me away... You need to watch this.”
ROAD TO HEALING
"I won’t forget what happened, and the pain of it, but it doesn’t hurt me every day because music has become this shield."
"Through her artistic and cinematic choices, writer and director Philippa Bateman convinces us that film is the right medium through which to present this live concert... More than a touching contribution to Hunter’s legacy... her presence seems to be evident in every moment of the film."
'The river gave me this song’: the new doco tying together love, landscapes and history through song
"There are big ideas in Wash My Soul: song as a navigation tool for both landscapes and history, history as personal and national trauma, and the way they all bleed into one another. The songs that make up Kura Tungar (and later, the album Ruby) are singular and beautiful achievements, unlike anything in Australia popular music. But what really sticks with you, as the tagline suggests, is the love, and what it made possible."
"As Roach and Hunter perform their soulful ballads and regale the concert audience with anecdotes about their early life and partnership, we are treated to jaw-dropping aerial shots of the Coorong and the Murray. We see multi-coloured cliffs rearing up over the river, pelicans landing on the water like large-bellied 747s, and the area’s vast skies and technicolour sunsets."
AUSTRALIAN FILM WASH MY SOUL IN THE RIVER’S FLOW DOCUMENTS THE LOVE AND SONGS OF SOULMATES ARCHIE ROACH AND RUBY HUNTER
"Together they have performed internationally alongside legends such as Paul Kelly, Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Sting. Hunter died from heart failure in 2010, aged 54, but the film doesn't dwell on sadness. Instead, its focus is the profound impact this pair has had.”
Review: Wash My Soul in the River’s Flow is bound to move you
"Hearing the stories in these different settings brings the viewer in and almost includes them in the writing process, it’s like you’re sitting alongside the pair in their home and hearing firsthand the struggles and stories of their upbringing, which helps in understanding the true emotion behind the music, it’s bound to move you."