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The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel)
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5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Freddy Reynolds ...
Mort Blacksmith
...
Farrell
...
Rev. Neville
Angela Punch McGregor ...
Gilda Marshall (as Angela Punch)
Steve Dodd ...
Tabidgi (as Steve Dodds)
Peter Carroll ...
McCready
Ruth Cracknell ...
Mrs. Heather Newby
Don Crosby ...
Jack Newby
...
Petra Graf
...
Dowie Steed
Tim Robertson ...
Healey
...
Dud Edmonds
Brian Anderson ...
Hyberry
Jane Harders ...
Mrs. Healey
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Storyline

The true story of a part aboriginal man who finds the pressure of adapting to white culture intolerable, and as a result snaps in a violent and horrific manner. Written by <tgard@genauto.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The chant of Jimmie Blacksmith is the chant of the underdog See more »


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 June 1978 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Die Ballade von Jimmie Blacksmith  »

Box Office

Budget:

AUD 1,280,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Author Thomas Keneally's has said that if he wrote 'The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith' novel today, he would not try to write in the voice of an Aboriginal character but instead would write the story from the perspective of a white character. See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Bryan Brown in Conversation (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a very black song...
29 March 2005 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This film from 1978 as directed by Fred Schipisi of SIX DEGREES fame and of Thomas Keneally's book - he wrote SCHINDLER'S LIST - is a grim and disturbing depiction set during colonial 19th century Australia of a young Aboriginal man's descent into frustrated violence against his white English landowner masters. It becomes a really brutal film with explicit axe murders, especially against young girls and older women, and it is this visually distressing depiction that ultimately alienated the cinema audience. Jimmy's humiliation and cruel treatment is equally explicit and it is a relentless string of unhappy experiences by his inhumane 'boss' that ultimately causes him to crack - and hack. As a novel it is all in the mind of the reader but as a cinemascope color film, the 'running amok with an axe' sequences make any crowd want to run from the cinema. It was not seen on TV in Australia for almost 20 years and it is not likely to be either without most of the violence cut out, thus blunting the heavy handed message and the ultimate impact. Like poor Jimmy himself, the film version is in no man's land either. Past all that, it is a well made film and with an excellent cast; but very tough going. It fits well into a series of very sharply observed Australian films depicting the British colonial mind and its misunderstanding or cruelty towards Aboriginies: JEDDA in 1956, WALKABOUT in 1970, this film in 1978, RABBIT PROOF FENCE in 2001 and THE TRACKER in 2003. Each and every one are unique and excellent in their story. This one however, is the most violent which does derail its message. White urban Australia run amok is hilarious in a 1966 comedy THEY'RE A WEIRD MOB or demented boozy antics in THE ADVENTURES OF BARRY MCKENZIE in 1972... and alarmingly, horrifyingly realistic, soaked in beer bullets fists and dead kangaroos blood in Ted Kotcheff's superb 1971 drama OUTBACK. See the lot! It is a head-shaking but enlightening string of films, especially if seen in chronological order....like we all did! (may explain why our film makers in the 90s made musicals)


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