6593171822359481769.jpg
Source: www.moviemem.com
form y Jedda single work   film/TV  
Alternative title: Jedda The Uncivilised
Issue Details: First known date: 1955 1955
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'On a lonely cattle station in the Northern Territory, a newly born Aboriginal baby is adopted by a white woman in place of her own child who has died. The child is raised as a white child and forbidden any contact with the Aborigines on the station. Years later, Jedda is drawn by the mysteries of the Aboriginal people but restrained by her upbringing. Eventually she is fascinated by a full-blood Aboriginal, Marbuck, who arrives at the station seeking work and is drawn to his campfire by his song. He takes her away as his captive and returns to his tribal lands, but he is rejected by his tribe for having broken their marriage taboos. Pursued by the men from Jedda's station and haunted by the death wish of his own tribe, Marbuck is driven insane and finally falls, with Jedda, over a cliff.'

(Synopsis from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School website, http://library.aftrs.edu.au)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      British Lion , 1956 .
      Extent: 60 min.p.
      Description: Colour
      Note/s:
      • A heavily abridged version (by approximately 40 min.).

Works about this Work

What Do Mad Max's Six Oscars Mean for the Australian Film Industry? Vincent O'Donnell , 2016 single work column
— Appears in: The Conversation , 1 March 2016;
'The career of Dr George Miller reminds me of that of Charles Chauvel, one of the greatest showmen of the Australian cinema. Both men – though separated by many decades – have employed epic cinematic forms and nationalistic themes. ...'
Anniversary Screening for Jedda at Cannes Michael Bodey , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 29 April 2015; (p. 15)
Jedda Marks 60th at Cannes 2015 single work column
— Appears in: NT News , 5 May 2015; (p. 7)

'Northern Territory-made film Jedda will be screened at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival later this month in honour of its 60th anniversary..'

Jedda Stands Test of Time Katina Vangopoulos , 2015 single work column
— Appears in: NT News , 9 May 2015; (p. 20)
'Rosalie Kunoth-Monks was never a woman in want of success. It found her early in life, when she was approached at 14 by director Charles Chauvel and his wife Elsa at St Mary's Hostel in Alice Springs...'
Katherine Gorge or The Blue Mountains? 2015 single work column
— Appears in: Land Rights News , October no. 4 2015; (p. 12)

'Mythology and speculation have swirled for years about the creation of the final scene of Jedda, the first Australian feature film shot in colour...'

The Making of a Classic 2015 single work column
— Appears in: Land Rights News , October no. 4 2015; (p. 12)
'The making of Jedda was a story in itself, a saga of frustration and perseverance...'
Aussie Cinema Classics Revisited Troy Lennon , 2014 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier Mail , Saturday 5 April 2014; (p. 11)
'The great Australian film director Charles Chauvel only made nine feature films in his career...'
Love Is a Battlefield : ‘Maternal’ Emotions and White Catharsis in Baz Luhrmann's Post-Apology ‘Australia’ Odette Kelada , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , vol. 8 no. 2/3 2014; (p. 83-95)
'In Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008), audiences encounter emotive scenes including depictions of an Indigenous child stolen from a white ‘mother’ in a time of war. Given that the film is framed with reference to the history of the Stolen Generations and the Apology, this paper explores the functions of such a narrative in constructions of the white imaginary. Inverting truths around the destruction of Indigenous families and policies of assimilation, management and control requires in this instance the appropriation of the maternal domain of the Indigenous mother by the white female body; an English woman reclaiming ‘her’ land. Through such a repositioning, anxieties around belonging and guilt may undergo a form of catharsis via the apparent empathetic engagement with a ‘stolen’ maternal love. Drawing on Ghassan Hage's insights into the possessive logic of the ‘white’ nation and Sara Ahmed's analysis of emotional politics, this article analyses the connection between the films Australia and Jedda (1955), critiquing the potential for such a cinematic catharsis to assuage shame, and reify national virtue. I contend that there is a violence inherent in colonising ‘love’ through such fantasies that inhabit the locus and stories of ‘the other’ at the moment of ‘Apology’, neutralising threats to negative conceptions of self as benevolent bodies at ‘home’ in the imaginary landscape of Australia.' (Publication abstract)
Memories of a Movie Maverick Phil Brown , 2013 single work column
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 27-28 July 2013; (p. 10-11)
An Australasian Lens? Anthony Lambert , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , March vol. 7 no. 1 2013; (p. 3-7)

'The uses and understandings of the category ‘Australasian’ seem to shift and vary within the multiple contexts of the term’s application. Each new

volume of Studies in Australasian Cinema, for example, not only negotiates the elasticity of screen culture, production, and scholarship as critical ‘objects’, but also speaks simultaneously (often in the broadest and even tangential senses) to regional experiences of, or responses to, all of these. ' (Author's introduction)

Heritage Enigmatic : The Silence of the Dubbed in Jedda Allison Craven , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , March vol. 7 no. 1 2013; (p. 23-34)

'The dubbing of the voices of Aboriginal actors in The Irishman (Crombie, 1978) and Jedda (Chauvel, [1955] 2004) is discussed, first in a general context of the prevalence of post-sychronization of cinema sound in past and contemporary practices. The Irishman is thereafter considered through the spectacle of DVD packaging with commentary, a para-cinematic device that works – through a similar mechanism to dubbing – to influence the reception of the feature film; then Jedda is approached with reference to the various accounts that have emerged of the dubbed voices, none of which seem to conclusively indicate the grounds or status. Concluding reflections on these histories are drawn to wider institutional and industrial conditions, and also to contemporary films that address the voices and silences of Indigenous people.' (Author's abstract)

History and Memory in Ngunnawal Country, and the Making of Jedda Catherine Kevin , 2013 single work criticism
— Appears in: Studies in Australasian Cinema , October vol. 7 no. 2-3 2013; (p. 165-178)

'In the 1940s and fifties, wealthy woolgrowers in and around the rural southern New South Wales town of Yass gave generously to Charles Chauvel to enable the making of Jedda (1955). These same farmers employed members of the local Ngunnawal community in domestic and rural labour. The issues of segregation, assimilation, child removal and Aboriginal employment that are represented in Jedda resonate in the histories of communities in this region. When the film was released some watched it at a glamorous official opening in Sydney while others attended the local, segregated cinema. This article places oral history accounts of seeing Jedda (at the time of its release) alongside the archive, to explore the nature of the intersections and segregations that shaped relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous residents of this area. It also explores the complex subject positions articulated in these memories that attempt to come to terms with personal histories of segregation in an era of revisionist histories and reconciliation.' (Author's abstract)

y Jedda Jane Mills , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2012 Z1863986 2012 single work criticism 'Filmed in 1955 Jedda was the first Australian feature film to use Aboriginal actors in lead roles, the first to be filmed in colour and the first to be shown at the Cannes film festival. It tells the tragic story of a young Aboriginal girl of the Arunte tribe, adopted by a white woman, Sarah McCann, as a surrogate for her own baby who has died. She raises her as a white child, isolating her from Aboriginal contact. But when Marbuck, an Aboriginal man seeking work arrives on the station, Jedda is fascinated by him. Jedda was one of several popular melodramas of the post-World War II era that dealt with miscegenation. Mills explores these themes and the representation of the Australian Aborigine, while making comparisons to the Native American sub-genre of the Hollywood Western. Source: http://www.currency.com.au/ (Sighted 27/08/2012).
The Aboriginal Voice in Baz Luhrmann's Left-Leaning Australia (2008) D. Bruno Starrs , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 26 no. 4 2012; (p. 625-636)
'Arguing that Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008) is a big-budget, non-independent film espousing a left-leaning political ideology in its non-racist representations of Aborigines on film, this paper suggests the addition of a 'fourth formation' to the 1984 Moore and Muecke model is warranted. According to their theorizing, racist 'first formation' films promote policies of assimilation whereas 'second formation' films avoid overt political statements in favour of more acceptable multicultural liberalism. Moore and Muecke's seemingly ultimate 'third formation films', however, blatantly foreground the director's leftist political dogma in a necessarily low budget, independent production. Australia, on the other hand, is an advance on the third formation because its left-leaning feminized Aboriginal voice is safely backed by a colossal production budget and indicates a transformation in public perceptions of Aboriginal issues. Furthermore, this paper argues that the use of low-cost post-production techniques such as voice-over narration by racially appropriate individuals and the use of diegetic song in Australia work to ensure the positive reception of the left-leaning message regarding the Stolen Generations. With these devices Luhrmann effectively counters the claims of right-wing denialists such as Andrew Bolt and Keith Windschuttle.' (Author's abstract, 625)
Marbuk Struts His Stuff : Jedda (Charles Chauvel, 1955) Peter Kemp , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , 14 March no. 58 2011;
Landscapes of Whiteness: Aboriginality in Chauvel’s Early Cinema Ben Miller , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 2 no. 2 2011; (p. 127-133)
'This article focuses on two of Chauvel‟s early films to show how representations of Aboriginality and landscape often subtly, though sometimes violently, prioritise white sovereignty. Ultimately, whiteness (a way of seeing and being in the world) can be read as a lens Chauvel uses to both shape his representations of Aboriginality and landscape and simultaneously justify white sovereignty in Australia. When films such as Chauvel‟s are viewed with this relationship in mind, the fictionalised manipulation of landscape and Aboriginality, which is characteristic of whiteness in Australian cinema, is undermined as a legitimising discourse of white sovereignty.' Source: Ben Miller.
Reconciliation and the History Wars in Australian Cinema Felicity Collins , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 207-222)
'When The Proposition ( a UK/Australia co-production, directed by John Hillcoat and scripted by Nick Cave) was released in 2005, film reviewers had no qualms about claiming this spectacular saga of colonial violence on the Queensland frontier as a 'history' film. A reviewer on BBC Radio 4 described The Proposition as 'a bushranger Western...set in violent 1880s Australian outback exposing the bitter racial tensions between English and Irish settlers. A Sunday Times review declared that 'Australia's brutal post-colonial history is stripped of all the lies in a bloody clash of cultures between the British police, the Irish bushrangers and the Aborigines.' Foregrounding the film's revisionist spectacle of colonial violence, an Australian reviewer predicted that, despite 'scenes of throat-cutting torture, rape and exploding heads...The Proposition could be the most accurate look at our national history yet'. (Author's introduction, 207)
Jedda Suneeti Rekhari , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Making Film and Television Histories : Australia and New Zealand 2011; (p. 5-10)
Assimilation, Othering and Control : Looking Back at 'Jedda' Suneeti Rekhari , 2010 single work essay
— Appears in: Screen Education , no. 57 2010; (p. 123-128)

'The review and analysis of the Australian film 'Jedda' directed and produced by Charles Chauvel is discussed. It was the first Australian film to be invited to and receive critical praise at the Cannes film festival.'

Source: Abstract.

From : 'Well, I Heard It on the Radio and I Saw It on the Television ...' Marcia Langton , 2009 extract criticism ('Well I Heard It on the Radio and I Saw It on the Television' : An Essay for the Australian Film Commission on the Politics and Aesthetics of Filmmaking by and about Aboriginal People and Things)
— Appears in: Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 1232-1236)
'Jedda' Is YOUR Film 1954 single work review
— Appears in: Dawn : A Magazine for the Aboriginal People of N.S.W. , vol. 3 no. 9 1954;

— Review of Jedda Charles Chauvel Elsa Chauvel 1955 single work film/TV
The Mirror of Whiteness: Blackface in Charles Chauvel's Jedda Ben Miller , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , Special Issue 2007; (p. 140-156)
'This article posits that Chauvel's early experience in and with "blackface" was a significant influence for his own films ... This article recounts a history of blackface performances, as well as ways of reading blackface, to fill some critical gaps in an iconic Australian film - Charles Chauvel's Jedda (1955). My reading of Jedda will turn the film back onto itself to reflect not just Chauvel, but also a long history of racial representation, spanning many continents and over 100 years, which was always radical and racist, benevolent and violent. When Chauvel wore and directed blackface he was, perhaps quite unconsciously, reiterating racial fictions that had justified violent colonialism and slavery since the eighteenth century. To understand this, Chauvel's work must be read within a history of blackface.' (p.140-41)
In Darwin They Call Me Bobby Wilson Robert Tudawali , 1991 extract autobiography (The Unlucky Australians)
— Appears in: North of the Ten Commandments : A Collection of Northern Territory Literature 1991; (p. 110-113)
Actor and activist Tudawali recalls some of his experiences as an Aboriginal, in particular his work to promote equal rights for Aborigines.
Desert Hauntings, Public Interiors and National Modernity : From 'The Overlanders' to 'Walkabout' and 'Japanese Story' Brigid Rooney , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southerly , vol. 67 no. 1-2 2007; (p. 410-422)
Arresting Metaphors : Anti-Colonial Females in Australian Cinema Anthony Lambert , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Text , vol. 1 no. 2 2005;
'This paper attempts to advance new understandings of female cinematic agency by interrogating its connection to patterns of cultural colonialism in Australian film. The visual presence of female Aboriginality in contemporary Australian film undermines, in subtle and explicit ways, the possibility of a truly secure white identity tied to the Australian environment. It does so through the introduction of the complexities of Aboriginal difference, through the subversion of white cinematic narratives and mythologies, and through physical agency and action. In this way, the anti-colonial impulse in the cinema emerges, in films which effectively 'unearth' the continuing cinematic metaphors of colonial power. -- From the journal.
The Land of 'Jedda' Glenville Pike , 2007 single work essay
— Appears in: My Yesterdays : Life of Glenville Pike in North Queensland and the Northern Territory 2007; (p. 81 - 82)
Jedda, Negritude and the Modernist Impulse in Australian Film Barbara Creed , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Impact of the Modern : Vernacular Modernities in Australia 1870s-1960s 2008; (p. 62-72)
Jedda and its Star Ngarla Kunoth , Ros Bowden (interviewer), 1988 single work oral history
— Appears in: Voices from a Vanishing Australia : Recollections of the Way Things Used to Be 1988; (p. 132, 136)
y Charles Chauvel : The Last Decade Australian Walkabout Stuart Cunningham , Perth : Centre for Research in Culture and Communication (Murdoch University) , 1995 Z1611555 1987 single work criticism Stewart Cunningham examines Charles Chauvel's career during the last decade of his life (1950s), a period in which the director made only one feature film - Jedda (1955).
y Chauvel and the Centring of the Aboriginal Male in Australian Film Colin Johnson , Perth : Centre for Research in Culture and Communication (Murdoch University) , 1996 Z1627620 1987 single work criticism

Colin Johnson examine's the construction of Aboriginal identity in Charles Chauvel's Jedda, arguing that the film is not a realistic depiction of life, or of conflict between European and Aborigine as it is often taken to be, or a mishmash of 'Hollywood' images and romanticism transferred to Australia. Instead it is a film constructed from the ideological position of Chauvel - a position Johnson refers to as 'ideological authenticity.' A number of contradictions arise from his position, he writes. 'One such contradiction involves the positioning of the Aboriginal male in Australian film. From the book, Walkabout, it may be seen that Chauvel had ideas on what constituted a 'true' Aborigine, and this 'trueness' had little basis in reality, but in his holding such notions as 'the noble savage' - a stereotype familiar to us from Tarzan films.' However, while Chauvel sought to project the idea that he had made a quasi-documentary film, a 'true' story though clothed in action, showing what happens when the Aboriginal enters the white world and how it leads to tragedy, the flatness of his European characters, and the strength of Tudawali's role enables us to read the film as an Aboriginal text.'

'When reading the film as an Aboriginal text we see that its central conflict, the stealing of women and its resolution, is an old problem inherent in Aboriginal society. This central conflict enables Aboriginal men to strongly identify with Marbuk. 'Identification' is extended to Aboriginal women, too, especially mission women and station women, in that Christian indoctrination forbade them to have anything to do with such savage myalls as Marbuk. The mission inhabitants, predominantly women, were forced to forego their Aboriginality at least consciously. Only in dreams was it allowed to emerge, and it did. Forbidden, the savage, or the free Black Man became a fascinating sexual object for those women. Chauvel unwittingly transcended his film, for when he depicted the lure of Marbuk for Jedda, he was depicting the lure of Aboriginality for mission blacks... What makes his film rise above a B Hollywood film is not a plot so much as his casting of a black man in the leading role. Tudawali's acting ability and charisma dominates the film.'

From : 'Well, I Heard It on the Radio and I Saw It on the Television ...' Marcia Langton , 2009 extract criticism ('Well I Heard It on the Radio and I Saw It on the Television' : An Essay for the Australian Film Commission on the Politics and Aesthetics of Filmmaking by and about Aboriginal People and Things)
— Appears in: Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature 2009; (p. 1232-1236)
Top 10 Indigenous Films Gillian Cumming , 2009 single work column
— Appears in: The Sunday Mail , 20 December 2009; (p. 12-13)
Myths and Absent Signifiers in Representations of Aboriginal Identity in Australian Cinema Suneeti Rekhari , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues , December vol. 10 no. 4 2007; (p. 3-13)
Tripping on the Light Fantastic : A Bit of a Look at Australian Film Adrian Mitchell , 1997 single work criticism
— Appears in: Sydney Studies in English , vol. 23 no. 1997;
'In the beginning is the word: there has to be a script. But even before a word is said there's light, and camera, and action. Films are before all else about light, and about what can be realised through light. That pre-eminence of light was acknowledged in the old-time movie theatres, in the custom, now regrettably lapsed, of having the projection illuminating the screen before the curtains were drawn open, so that the promised world of light could be glimpsed before revelation, symbolically seen through a veil which then parted — and behold, a new heaven and a new earth. Those who arrived late, after the houselights had gone down, followed their own little subdued pool of light, the usherette's torch, down the carpeted aisles.' (Author's abstract)
Aboriginal Representations in Australian Texts Vijay C. Mishra , 1987 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum: The Australian Journal of Media & Culture , vol. 2 no. 1 1987;
Marbuk Struts His Stuff : Jedda (Charles Chauvel, 1955) Peter Kemp , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , 14 March no. 58 2011;
Representing Australian Space in The Overlanders Elizabeth Webby , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australia : Making Space Meaningful 2007; (p. 115-123)
This paper will examine the influence of Watt's representation of Australian space in The Overlanders on other films made in Australia during the 1950s, including Charles Chauvel's Jedda (1955) and Jack Lee's Robbery Under Arms (1957)...(From author's abstract p. 115)
Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and the Making of Jedda Karen Fox , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Aboriginal History , no. 33 2009; (p. 77-95)
'Filmmaker Charles Chauvel described the casting for Jedda, released in Australia in 1955, as ‘a unique experiment’. He referred to the casting of two Aboriginal people, who had never acted before, as the film’s stars. Much scholarship has examined the film itself, analysing its themes and its representations of Aboriginal people. Less attention has been paid to the ways in which its Aboriginal stars, Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Bob Wilson, experienced starring in the film.1 This paper focuses on Kunoth-Monks, who was for a brief time widely known and acclaimed throughout Australia, and whose starring role continued to be remembered throughout her life, even as she moved into areas of activity far removed from the film industry.2 Writing on the practice of film history, Barbara Klinger has advocated an approach which seeks to provide a ‘total history’ through investigating ‘a film’s “ancillary” texts’ (for example, promotional material and popular media texts).3 For historians interested in filmic representations of, by or for Indigenous peoples, the narratives found in texts surrounding the participation of Indigenous peoples in filmmaking can be as rich as the films themselves for analysis. In this paper, I critically explore narratives about Kunoth-Monks’ experience of filmmaking, and recurring representations of her, which appeared in the popular print media, in publicity material for the film and in the memoirs of Chauvel’s wife and filmmaking partner, Elsa, as well as Kunoth-Monks’ own memories. Exploring her brief time as a film star provides insight not only into the film and the Chauvels’ attempt to represent Aboriginal people on film, but also into the ambiguous and sometimes uncomfortable experience of being simultaneously a traditional Aboriginal woman and a film star.' Source: Karen Fox.
Landscapes of Whiteness: Aboriginality in Chauvel’s Early Cinema Ben Miller , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 2 no. 2 2011; (p. 127-133)
'This article focuses on two of Chauvel‟s early films to show how representations of Aboriginality and landscape often subtly, though sometimes violently, prioritise white sovereignty. Ultimately, whiteness (a way of seeing and being in the world) can be read as a lens Chauvel uses to both shape his representations of Aboriginality and landscape and simultaneously justify white sovereignty in Australia. When films such as Chauvel‟s are viewed with this relationship in mind, the fictionalised manipulation of landscape and Aboriginality, which is characteristic of whiteness in Australian cinema, is undermined as a legitimising discourse of white sovereignty.' Source: Ben Miller.
y Jedda Jane Mills , Strawberry Hills : Currency Press , 2012 Z1863986 2012 single work criticism 'Filmed in 1955 Jedda was the first Australian feature film to use Aboriginal actors in lead roles, the first to be filmed in colour and the first to be shown at the Cannes film festival. It tells the tragic story of a young Aboriginal girl of the Arunte tribe, adopted by a white woman, Sarah McCann, as a surrogate for her own baby who has died. She raises her as a white child, isolating her from Aboriginal contact. But when Marbuck, an Aboriginal man seeking work arrives on the station, Jedda is fascinated by him. Jedda was one of several popular melodramas of the post-World War II era that dealt with miscegenation. Mills explores these themes and the representation of the Australian Aborigine, while making comparisons to the Native American sub-genre of the Hollywood Western. Source: http://www.currency.com.au/ (Sighted 27/08/2012).
Reconciliation and the History Wars in Australian Cinema Felicity Collins , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Exhuming Passions : The Pressure of the Past in Ireland and Australia 2012; (p. 207-222)
'When The Proposition ( a UK/Australia co-production, directed by John Hillcoat and scripted by Nick Cave) was released in 2005, film reviewers had no qualms about claiming this spectacular saga of colonial violence on the Queensland frontier as a 'history' film. A reviewer on BBC Radio 4 described The Proposition as 'a bushranger Western...set in violent 1880s Australian outback exposing the bitter racial tensions between English and Irish settlers. A Sunday Times review declared that 'Australia's brutal post-colonial history is stripped of all the lies in a bloody clash of cultures between the British police, the Irish bushrangers and the Aborigines.' Foregrounding the film's revisionist spectacle of colonial violence, an Australian reviewer predicted that, despite 'scenes of throat-cutting torture, rape and exploding heads...The Proposition could be the most accurate look at our national history yet'. (Author's introduction, 207)
Last amended 20 Jun 2016 13:30:58
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