Doco of the Month: The Department

7 April
Location informationArc Cinema
Event cost$12 / $10

Join us for the latest in documentary filmmaking. We’ll be celebrating diverse voices and intriguing personalities, uncovering truths from the exciting to the uncomfortable, and – most importantly – sharing real stories from Australia and around the world.  

‘Child protection is everybody’s business’. It’s the slogan we hear repeated in community service announcements. Yet the only time the public hears about the system that protects our most vulnerable children is when something goes terribly wrong. 

The Department is a feature documentary which takes us inside the previously unseen child protection system at work in NSW. Filmed in an observational style, it follows caseworkers across the state as they navigate the complexities of keeping children safe in families experiencing domestic violence, addiction, poverty, mental health issues and intergenerational trauma. 

Told through the eyes of the caseworkers, complemented by the authentic voices of the families, each story explores a different facet of child protection and reveals the complexity, bravery and raw emotion experienced by these people every day. 

‘Ettinger-Epstein’s observational yet intimate style, using never-before-seen footage from inside the system at work, gives voice to all the participants... The Department [is] an astute and timely documentary’ – Sydney Film Festival.



Bookings are essential for all ticketed events. Learn about measures we have in place to keep you COVID-safe here. See the ACT Government COVID-19 website for more information.


Be rewarded for every paid screening, event or exhibition at the NFSA every time you visit. Your seventh visit is free. More details on Club NFSA at our Ticketing page.