'Provocative, funny and profoundly moving, Bastardy is the inspirational story of a self proclaimed Robin Hood of the streets.
'For forty years and with infectious humour and optimism, Jack Charles has juggled a life of crime with another successful career - acting.
'Since founding the first Aboriginal theatre company in the 1970's, Jack has performed with Australia's most renowned actors (Geoffrey Rush, David Gulpillil, Bill Hunter) and directors in feature films (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith, Bedevil and Blackfellas) TV series and hundreds of plays.
'Filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson follows Jack over seven years - gradually blurring the line between director and accomplice as Jack continually traverses the criminal and acting worlds.
'However, the law finally catches up with Jack and when he faces a jail sentence he might not survive, he is forced to decide if he can go straight for the first time in his life.
'Bastardy is the story of one man's journey into the light. (From the Siren Visual website.)
'The life of Jack Charles has been told in the film Bastardy (2008) and the theatre production Jack Charles V the Crown, which has toured nationally and internationally for several years. Aspects of Jack’s life have been horrific. He is a member of the Stolen Generations, taken from his mother, family and community. Jack spent the young years of his life in institutions and foster care, where he was subject to the levels of violence and torture that accompany colonial repression. Jack’s subsequent years spent in prison are well documented, as is his remarkable contribution to Australian art and culture – in theatre, on the screen and, vitally, within the Aboriginal community.' (Introduction)
'Almost a decade after making Bastardy with actor Jack Charles, filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson refuses to see himself as a detached observer, instead drawing in his subjects as collaborators. By Ellen van Neerven.'