The most notorious figure in our historical landscape, the Australian bush bandit has been smoking up the screen from the silent films of the early 1900s to contemporary Australian shorts and features.
Iron Helmets, Smoking Guns explores the cultural significance of the bushranger genre and its role in mythologising the Australian bush bandit.
Celluloid incarnations from doomed hero of the silent era to pop icon of the twenty-first century have charted Australia's relationship with this classic anti-hero.
The initial depiction of the bushranger as victim of an oppressive and unjust authoritarian regime resulted in a censorship ban in 1912 - an act which impacted on the anti-authoritarian sensibilities and political subtexts of later bushranger narratives. Throughout the twentieth century a number of local and international films have been produced that continued to perpetuate the myth of this iconic Australian legend.
Featuring celluloid curios from bizarre shorts to screen classics and popular releases, Iron Helmets, Smoking Guns screens at ACMI at Federation Square from Thursday 30 January to Monday 3 February 2003.
Curated by Natasha Gadd, ACMI Cinema Programmer.