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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The Getting of Wisdom (1978)

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Plot summary: 1890s. Laura Tweedle Rambotham enters an exclusive Melbourne ladies’ college. The film follows her struggles with acceptance, conformity, romance, friendship and achievement over the next four years.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog entry contains discussions of racial slurs and bisexual erasure.

In this entry, I look at beauty standards, likability, bisexuality, compulsory heterosexuality and peer pressure in the Australian coming-of-age comedy-drama The Getting of Wisdom. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.)

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Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)

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Plot Summary: In Western Australia, 1931, children with mixed Aboriginal and White ancestry are forcibly removed from their families and incarcerated at the Moore River Native Settlement, to be trained as servants for White people. Sisters Molly and Daisy and their cousin Gracie escape the settlement. Their aim: to walk the 1500 kilometres home to Jigalong, across unforgiving terrain, pursued by the authorities.

Trigger/content warnings: This blog post includes discussions and/or mentions of forced removal of Aboriginal children, rape, racism, child abuse, sexual assault, racism and suicide. It also includes names and images of Aboriginal people who have passed away.

Rabbit-Proof Fence was a smash hit when it was released in Australia in 2002. For me, it’s one of the ultimate girl power films, and all the more powerful for having been based on true events. (The content under the cut contains spoilers.) Continue reading “Rabbit-Proof Fence (2002)”