Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

Today's film is The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith.  It is based on true events.  This happened in the time of the Boer Wars (1899-1902) in which the colony of Australian was sent to fight in southern Africa to help her mother country, Great Britain.  Also at this time, Australia was seeking its independence from Great Britain.

The British settlers saw the aborigines (the original native people of the island) as a lower race not as evolved as they were.  They were given hardly any rights and were basically treated like dirt.  They did not even get the right to vote until 1962.

The film was hard to watch at times, and it is very hard to write about.  I want Jimmie to succeed, but cannot condone violence.  As a person of multiple ethnicities who is married to a Native person, we receive racism from literally every angle.  And it's not 1900 like this movie. It's 2015.  Remember when they try to convince his white wife to leave him and work for them? And she says no because she's married and they don't care about that?  Yeah I get that all the time.  I get hatred from my white side, hatred from my non-white side, and lots of hatred from my husband's family's side.

 It is an endless source of frustration that no matter what he accomplishes he will never be good enough because he's not white.

Jimmie didn't set out to start committing violent acts.  He was driven by intolerance and pure frustration.  But once he started he couldn't stop.  He had to be punished for what he did.

Notice how many people that he and his family encounter aren't racist and try to help him throughout the film.  Only the people in power - cops, wealthy ranchers, educated preacher's wives, are the ones who believe they are better than him and treat him as such.  Maybe that's how they got to be powerful because of their superior attitude towards others.  Look at all the republicans in charge of southerns states here.  I could go on, but there's no way Jimmie could have survived in his own environment or ours.  Nothing has changed.  I will give this film a 7/10.

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