Jimmie Blacksmith, the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, falls victim to much racist abuse after marrying a white woman, and goes on a killing spree and finds himself on the run in the aftermath.
Well intentioned and well meant, I am sure, but director Fred Schepisi is perhaps a little too reverent in his interpretation of the original book to the detriment of a smooth and effectively flowing cinematic narrative. There is an awful predictability here and for a lengthy film not really enough for the viewer to get their teeth into. It is true that the violent incident that transforms the action does come as a surprise in so far as the extent of the violence is concerned but it is something that has been signalled for a while. Beautifully shot, this is an attractive looking outback and countryside that is presented but the film is preceded by Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) which is far more beautiful overall and Walkabout (1971) which is far more dramatic. Jimmie Blacksmith has some fine sequences portraying the indigenous peoples but less maybe is more and these do not seem as dynamic as those in Nick Roeg's film. it is tempting to wonder just how much Schepisi was influenced by the rock formations and aboriginal depiction in the earlier films but it seems a little unfair and if the political and racial issues are a little heavy handed is to be applauded that he tackled them at all.
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