Dir. Fred Schepisi, 1978
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.
Programmer: David Ansen
Lead Programmer at Palm Springs International Film Festival. Film critic at Newsweek for 32 years. Artistic Director of Los Angeles Film Festival for five years.
Writer of documentaries for Television on Bette Davis, Great Garbo, Groucho Marx and Elizabeth Taylor.
Why 'The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith'?
"I think a good case could be made that Fred Schepisi's THE CHANT OF JIMMIE BLACKSMITH is the greatest Australian movie. Yet this shattering epic never achieved the popularity of the other films of the Australian renaissance in the 70's and 80's, movies such as "Picnic at Hanging Rock" and "My Brilliant Career" and "Breaker Morant," perhaps because its examination of a half breed Aborigine's revolt against white society cuts so close to the bone, and touches uncomfortable racial themes that are no less relevant in the US than they are in Australia-- and never more than now. It's a movie that's haunted me ever since I first saw it in 1980, and I'm eager to see it again on a big screen with the Palm Springs audience. Schepisi invests it with a lyrical and savage tragic vision that's hard to shake."