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The chant of the underdog

Fred Schepisi's internationally acclaimed masterpiece, based on the novel by Thomas Keneally, is the shocking tale of an indigenous man driven to madness and revenge. Jimmie Blacksmith (Tommy Lewis) is a young man with one Indigenous and one European parent, raised in central NSW at the turn-of-the-century. He slots uneasily between two cultures, initiated by his tribe but also educated by a stern Methodist minister (Jack Thompson).

Looking to gain respectability in European society, Jimmy finds a white bride while performing back-breaking work on local farms, but cannot escape his skin colour, suffering ongoing racism and oppression. Discovering that he may not be the father of his wife's child, and fired without pay, Jimmy explodes in a fury of violent revenge and escapes into the bush with his brother Mort, cutting a bloody path of retribution upon the society that has forsaken him. In 1901, the year Australian democracy is born, Jimmy Blacksmith finally faces his fate, and with it the fate of his people.

Rating

M

Duration

108

Cast

Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Ray Barrett, Jack Thompson, Angela Punch, Don Crosby, Steve Dodd, Peter Carroll, Ruth Cracknell

Director

Fred Schepsis

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