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Australia’s viral documentary about public shaming is now on YouTube

If you ever have plans of verbally abusing someone on a bus with racist remarks, you might want to watch this first.

Australian documentary Digilante has announced that it has now been released online to an international audience.

The film, directed by Mike Nayna, made its world premiere at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival 2017 in Toronto. It then went on a tour across North America and Australia, receiving awards such as ‘Best Short Film’ and ‘Best Sociological Documentary’.

Digilante tells the story of its own director, Nayna, as he revisits the viral video he filmed in 2012 of a racially-charged attack in a Melbourne bus. After putting it up online, the footage quickly went viral, sparking international outrage and debate, as well as getting two people sent to jail.

Hayden Stewart (left), who was also involved in the 2012 bus altercation, with filmmaker Mike Nayna (right).

Now, eight years later after the incident (as well as the media frenzy it caused), Nayna likens the shaming video to “a nuke,” saying: “It got a lot of collateral damage in the end.”

With his half-hour documentary, Nayna provides more context and a clearer perspective of the event and the fallout that followed, which he hopes would help us respond more responsibly to similar incidents in the future.

“In Australia, I just want to complicate the oversimplified narrative the media ran with,” he told Lost At E Minor. “Overall it would be great if people were inspired to take a more balanced view on politically charged stories.”

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