Jedda (1955)

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Plot summary: Jedda is an Aboriginal girl born on a cattle station in the Northern Territory of Australia. She has been raised by Sarah McMann, the wife of the station boss, Doug. Sarah raises Jedda as her own, teaching her European ways and separating her from other Aboriginal people. A young “half-caste” stockman named Joe is in love with Jedda and wishes to marry her, but Jedda is struggling with her own attraction to an Aboriginal man named Marbuk.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of death, racism (including slurs and blackface), misogyny, the sexualisation of children and sexual assault. Indigenous readers are also advised that this entry contains names and images of Aboriginal people who have died.

In this entry, I discuss how the Australian film Jedda represents the teenage title character’s race, gender and sexuality as inextricable from one another, and the possibility of representation being exploitative.

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