GCharles Chauvel, 1953, 101 minutes, 35mm. Courtesy: NFSA & Curtis Brown Australia
One of the most fully mythic and dreamlike of Australian films, Charles Chauvel's Jedda
tells the story of an Aboriginal baby raised on a cattle station in the Northern Territory by a white woman after mourning the loss of her own child. Brought up knowing nothing of her own culture or customs, Jedda's whole life changes dramatically when a young full blood Aboriginal abducts her.
Excessive and melodramatic narration is shaped by the Chauvels' imagination of Jedda's interior vision. Underpinned by Carl Keyser's radiant cinematography, every action and landscape is saturated with feeling and mystery.
Starring Ngarla Kunoth in the title role, Jedda
was the first local film to be shot in Technicolour, and was made totally on location in central Australia. Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy
GTracey Moffatt, 1990, 17 minutes, 35mm. Courtesy: NFSA, Chili Films & Ronin Films
|Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy|
A middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her old white mother as she lays dying.
Shot entirely in a studio, the emotional power of the film is intensifed by the artificially treated vibrantly coloured landscape and carefully constructed soundscape.
Inspired by Jedda
, Moffatt resurrects the two primary characters and propels them 30 years into the future, transforming the relationship between child and mother into carer and invalid.