The documentary film, Close to the Bone, which I made in 2012, re-tells history through the memory stories of my father's family: the Harper children, postwar British orphans who migrated to Australia in 1948. I was inspired to make the film by documentary's capacity to represent and transmit the lost voices of history, and it is this conceptual premise upon which it was based. Close to the Bone is a case study in how film can speak back to former public representations of the British migrant child by re-constructing an individual family story from autobiographical and familial memories. This article charts the research approach I used and the personal and methodological challenges that I faced when making the film. I discovered in the filmmaking process that the documentary memory film has a lot in common with the ghost story.