In this essay I discuss the ethical and aesthetic issues involved in making a short auto/biographical documentary, Separation, about an improvised parenting relationship I had with a young Sudanese-Australian man. I contextualize my discussion through reference to representations of Sudanese-Australians in the media, and the tendency towards reductive allegorical representations. I propose that a poetic approach offers a possible way forward in representing aspects of life stories involving shared privacies and/or sensitive cultural material. This suggests important scholarly consideration of an ethics that is specific to visual representation or video/film methods. Such a consideration is applicable both to contexts in which the central concern is an art product or event, and in which the primary concern is research.

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