A documentary about dual Brownlow medallist Adam Goodes and what happened when the indigenous AFL star started to call out racism has premiered at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

The Australian Dream, which screened on Thursday evening, is told from the perspective of the former Swans player.

“This is the story of Adam Goodes and a moment when Australia faced the worst in itself,” the film’s writer and Walkley-winning journalist Stan Grant said.

“But it is more than that – it is the story of a country and its history. A story of pain but, above all, hope.”

In 2013, Goodes provoked a national conversation about racism when he demanded a 13-year-old Collingwood supporter who had called him an “ape” be removed from the ground.

The film charts the former footballer’s rise from before he was drafted and follows his retirement from the game.

“It’s an accomplished piece of documentary filmmaking that tackles broader questions of who we are as a nation, together, in deeply affecting terms,” festival artistic director Al Cossar said.