Screened as part of NZIFF 2022

Clean 2022

Directed by Lachlan McLeod

This inspirational Australian documentary invites us into the world of trauma cleaning as run by the larger-than-life personality of Sandra Pankhurst, whose response to the chaos of death and squalor is simple kindness.

92 minutes DCP




David Elliot-Jones, Charlotte Wheaton


Louis Dai


Lachlan McLeod, Louis Dai


Patrick Grigg


Sandra Pankhurst


SXSW 2022


Remarkable Sandra Pankhurst, whose beyond-harsh-knocks life was recounted in the award-winning biography The Trauma Cleaner, is the inspirational subject of this life-affirming documentary that captures her indestructible compassion.

“Australian documentarian Lachlan McLeod’s Clean is an affecting reflection on the fragility of life, a sobering reminder that many of us at some point have been perched on a precarious ledge just a bad decision or two away from a fall. But it’s also an uplifting story of resilience, in this case embodied by the spirit, the salty humour and drive of a veteran of the LGBTQ community in her 60s. Sandra Pankhurst doesn’t define herself as a transgender woman, nor as a survivor of child abuse, rape, sex work and drugs. When asked how she’d like to be remembered, she says, ‘As a kind human being; nothing more, nothing less’…

Pankhurst founded Specialized Trauma Cleaning 30 years ago… Homicides, suicides, drug busts, deaths, hoarding, squalor and infestation, sometimes decades of neglect – all are a regular part of STC’s workday… Because her own experiences have acquainted her intimately with trauma, she sees her profession as a way to ease the suffering of others, approaching even the most horrendous situations without judgment.” — David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter