The Family (2016)

The Family (2016)

Poster for The Family (2016)

Melbourne filmmaker Rosie Jones's investigation into one of Australia's most notorious cults, and the scars its victims still bear today. More

"Anne Hamilton-Byrne was beautiful, charismatic, delusional and damaged. She was also incredibly dangerous. Convinced she was a living god, Hamilton-Byrne headed an apocalyptic sect dubbed The Family, which was prominent in Melbourne through the 60s and 70s. With her husband Bill, she acquired numerous children – some through adoption scams, some born to cult members – and raised them as her own. Isolated from the outside world, the children were dressed in matching outfits, had identically dyed blonde hair, and were allegedly beaten, starved and injected with LSD. Taught that Hamilton-Byrne was both their mother and the messiah, the children were eventually rescued during a police raid in the mid '80s, but their trauma had only just begun." (Melbourne International Film Festival)

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2016Rating: M, Mature themes98 minsAustralia, USA, UK
Documentary
Director:
Rosie Jones ('The Triangle Wars')
Writer:
Rosie Jones

Streaming (4 Providers)

The Family (2016) | Reviews

The Age

The Age

Even today, it seems, the Family lives on, and perhaps this film is not the last word on the matter. But for anyone haunted by this story, it is certainly a must-see.

Full review
The Age

The Age

First seen when police raided homes in 1987, The Family's communal children, some adopted illegally, recount as adults the beatings, starvation, and forced LSD sessions they endured; one victim describes their compound as "a concentration camp".

Full review
Screen Daily

Screen Daily

An engrossing study not just of a specific situation, but of the psychology behind it.

Full review
SBS

SBS

Seamless and intelligent editing by Jane Usher creates a mystery story that's gripping and moving, as well as visually poetic.

Full review
Adelaide Review

Adelaide Review

As fascinating as it is disturbing.

Full review
ABC

ABC

The core material, and the interviews, are urgent, essential records of an astonishingly awful Australian story.

Full review

The Family (2016) | Release Details

The Family (2016) is available to stream in Australia now on Google Play and DocPlay and Apple TV and Beamafilm.