'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)
'Back in 1955 Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Robert Tudawali starred in Jedda.
'It was the first film in Australian history to feature actual Indigenous actors in the leading roles.
'Kunoth-Monks played the central character of Jedda, and the film broke new ground in terms of representation.
'But the film's depiction of Indigenous Australians — drawing on romanticised stereotypes — is also problematic.
'Professor Marcia Langton played the character of Jedda in Night Cries, a 1989 response to the original film.
'Langton and Kunoth-Monks talk to It's Not A Race to discuss the legacy of the film, and their experiences playing the iconic character of Jedda.'
'‘Finding Queensland in Australian Cinema’ comprises eight essays, an introduction and conclusion, and the analysis of poetics and cultural geographies is focused on landmark films and television. The first section of the book, ‘Backtracks: Landscape and Identity’, refers to films from and before the revival, beginning with the 1978 film 'The Irishman' as an example of heritage cinema in which performances of gender and race, like the setting, suggest a romanticised and uncritical image of colonial Australia. It is compared to Baz Luhrmann’s 'Australia' (2008) and several other films. In the second chapter, ‘Heritage Enigmatic’, 'The Irishman' is also drawn into comparison with Charles Chauvel’s ‘Jedda’ (1955), as films that incorporate Indigenous performances in this heritage discourse through the role of voice and sound. In Part 2, ‘Silences in Paradise’, the first essay, ‘Tropical Gothic’, focuses on Rachel Perkins’s 'Radiance' (1998) as a landmark post-colonial film that questions the connotations of icons of paradise in Queensland. The discussion leads to films, in the next chapter, ‘Island Girls Friday’, that figure women on Queensland islands, spanning the pre-revival and contemporary era: ‘Age of Consent’ (1969), ‘Nim’s Island’ (2008) and ‘Uninhabited’ (2010). Part 3, ‘Masculine Dramas of the Coast’ moves to the Gold Coast, in films dating from before and since the current spike in transnational production at the Warner Roadshow film studios there, namely, 'The Coolangatta Gold' (1984), 'Peter Pan' (2003), and 'Sanctum' (2011). The final section, ‘Regional Backtracks’, turns, first, to two television series, ‘Remote Area Nurse’ (2006), and ‘The Straits’ (2012), that share unique provenance of production in the Torres Strait and far north regions of Queensland, while, in the final chapter, the iconic outback districts of western Queensland figure the convergence of land, landscape and location in films with potent perspectives on Indigenous histories in ‘The Proposition’ (2005) and ‘Mystery Road’ (2013). ‘Finding Queensland in Australian Cinema’ presents the various regions as syncretic spaces subject to transitions of social and industry practices over time.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'Mythology and speculation have swirled for years about the creation of the final scene of Jedda, the first Australian feature film shot in colour...'