He Died with a Felafel in His Hand (film)

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He Died with a Felafel in His Hand
DVD cover
Directed byRichard Lowenstein
Written byRichard Lowenstein
Based onHe Died with a Felafel in His Hand
by John Birmingham
Produced byAndrew McPhail
Helen Panckhurst
Domenico Procacci
StarringNoah Taylor
Emily Hamilton
Sophie Lee
CinematographyAndrew de Groot
Distributed byRoadshow Entertainment
Release date
  • 30 August 2001 (2001-08-30)
Running time
107 minutes

He Died with a Felafel in His Hand is a 2001 Australian comedy-drama film directed by Richard Lowenstein and starring Noah Taylor. The film draws on the 1994 memoir of the same name and consists of a series of vignettes from a young man's experience of sharing accommodation with a variety of characters. There is also a graphic adaptation of the novel.[1]


The film opens with Danny (Noah Taylor) discovering his friend Flip (Brett Stewart) dead in their flat. It then flashes back nine months to Brisbane, where Danny and Flip live in a house with other eccentric roommates. The house, known as the Queenslander, has characteristic features, such as wooden stilts, verandas and open rooms.

In Brisbane, Taylor, a Russian with military obsessions, engages in random acts of violence. Danny, Flip, Milo, and Otis have a discussion about love and make drunken confessions. Sam, an English girl, joins the conversation. Later, Danny visits a Social Security office where an officer ridicules his aspirations of being a writer.

Back at home, Sam challenges Danny's claim to be a writer, and Danny expresses his desire for teletype paper to inspire his writing. Anya, a mysterious foreigner, arrives to inquire about a room in the house. Danny introduces her to the other roommates. She declares herself a strict vegetarian.

Milo and Otis compete for Anya's affections, while Danny struggles to find inspiration for his writing. Thugs visit the house demanding unpaid rent, and the residents fail to impress them with their claims. The thugs give them a week to pay. Anya plans a party and invites her friends.

During the party, a pagan ritual takes place, and skinheads, along with Taylor's invited gang, confront the thugs. Chaos ensues, and the house is vandalized. Danny and Satomi quickly leave, with their belongings, exchanging heartfelt words with Flip before departing.

Danny moves to a shared flat in Melbourne, where he attends his ex-girlfriend's wedding. He finds solace in writing and encounters Sam, who seeks comfort in his presence. They share a profound moment. Later, a disturbing incident involving police and drugs occurs. Iain is injured, and Danny contemplates leaving town. Sam decides to stay.

Three months later, Danny is residing in Sydney, with Nina and Dirk as his roommates. Tensions rise between them and Sam and Anya, now a couple, visit, Sam urging Danny to call his mother. A house meeting is called, and news of a shooting in Melbourne is revealed. After Sam and Anya break up, Sam leaves, angrily tells Danny his life is a mess and he'll never be a writer. Danny becomes depressed and locks himself in his room for several days. One night he emerges, woken by the TV, to discover Flip dead from an overdose, with a felafel in his hand.

Danny decides to give up writing, discarding his books and throwing his typewriter into Sydney Harbour. The film ends with all the housemates gathering to give Flip a Pagan-style funeral ceremony. Afterwards Anya gives Danny some mail, with a cheque for $25,000 from Penthouse magazine for his published story. Anya and Nina move to France together, and Sam gives Danny a roll of teletype paper to inspire his writing.


Box office[edit]

The film grossed $820,999 at the box office in Australia.[2]


According to InReview magazine, the film, in contrast to the stage version, "totally missed the spirit of the book."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kelly, Judy (10 September 2004). "Comic Felafel". Australian Broadcasting Corporation Tropical North Queensland. Archived from the original on 20 January 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2010.
  2. ^ "Film Victoria – Australian Films at the Australian Box Office" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2010.
  3. ^ Vagg, Stephen (14 February 2024). "Yes, there were screen-lit gems about Brissie before Boy Swallows Universe". In Review.

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