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The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

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 Aboriginal half-caste’ raised in central NSW at the turn-of-the-century, a boy 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, Jimmie 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, Jimmie Blacksmith finally faces his fate, and with it the fate of his people.

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