Deep Water: The Real Story (2016) - Plot Summary Poster


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  • Up to 80 murders, 30 unsolved cases, thousands of assaults. In the 1980s and 1990s a murderous epidemic grips Sydney. The attackers are united by contempt. Their targets united by their sexual identity. All are gay. For the first time, DEEP WATER: THE REAL STORY presents the full account of the gay hate crime epidemic that bloodied Sydney's coastline. It stirs up old cases in the hope that new evidence will rise to the surface and bring peace and justice to the loved ones left behind.

  • In the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, several gay men died in the seaside eastern sections of Sydney, Australia, their bodies discovered on or indication that they died from a fall off the cliffs onto the rocky beach below. These deaths at the time were ruled by the NSW Police as suicides, probably due to some aspect of the men not being able to live with their homosexual orientation. In one case, that of local media personality Ross Warren who was still in the closet professionally to protect his job, the body was never found. In addition to several assaults on gay men in these areas - generally known to be gay cruising areas - these deaths are now generally considered homicides, instances of gay bashing. Several of these cases are presented through interviews with people associated with the specific cases, through interviews with advocates, as well as through dramatizations of known and supposed events. The evidence to support these incidents being gay bashings are enough to convince the public in general, but not enough to stand up in court to hold those perpetrators accountable. One group not providing on-camera interviews are the NSW police involved in each individual case, they who still publicly defend their stance that these were indeed suicides. In one case, they even will not publicly acknowledge that the assault was committed by plainclothes police despite the evidence. The film also takes a balanced perspective on the actions of those committing the crimes, while not condoning the crimes themselves at least understanding that they were borne out of social mores of the time, where gay bashing was a rite of passage especially among young men, some who were in the closet themselves.

  • Directed by Amanda Blue, Deep Water: The Real Story is a 90 minute feature presenting first-hand accounts of Sydney's gay hate killings in the 1980s and 1990s. This documentary unravels the stories of a society in the grips of homophobia as gangs stalked vulnerable victims on the coastline cliffs, brutal gay bashings were carried out, and lives were ended on the rocks below. Many of those involved at the time, including police, advisors, victims and families of those murdered speak out on the crimes of the past in the hope that new evidence will rise to the surface in the pursuit of peace for the dead and justice for their loved ones.


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