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Thread: Bitter Springs

  1. #1
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    This film was scarred by the imposition from London, of Tommy Trinder into the cast, to leaven an honest attempt to address the questions raised by the creation of modern Australia. Popular enough on it's first release, it was perhaps only seen as an alternative take on the "Wild West", with an added comic twist supplied by Tommy Trinder. It was unfairly maligned for many decades afterwards, by equally superficial critics who took the view that it somehow made patronising justifications for the consequences upon Aboriginal Australians of the 20th century creation of God's beautiful country .

    The Aussies themselves seem to have finally woken up to what Ralph Smart was attempting back then. Aside from the politics, it is actually an interestingly location-rich movie and has also become a documentary of sorts, as it appears to contain a relatively unvarnished record of Aboriginal life and skills that must have still remained a living memory at that time.

    according to Mick Starkey, senior ranger at Uluru – Kata Tjuta National Park. His father was one of the men brought south to Quorn in South Australia for the film. They were mostly from around Ernabella Mission, 1,100 kms north-west of Quorn. Starkey says the body painting, dancing and war shields shown in the film are all authentic. The film itself presents a fairly accurate picture of what happened between settlers and Aborigines, he believes. ‘That is what happened all over the western desert – they pushed us off our waterholes.’
    Ralph Smart’s original script was rewritten in England by two Ealing writers, WP Lipscomb and Monja Danischewsky, who never visited Australia. Nevertheless, this exchange shows pretty clearly that someone had studied the history of black-white conflicts over water in Australia. Michael Pate gives an unusually informed and sympathetic summation of the trouble ahead – ‘Their hunting disturbs your stock, your stock disturbs their game’. Very few Australian films before this had dared to go near this kind of drama, possibly because it was still too raw. There were massacres of blacks by white farmers and police as late as 21 years before this film was made. Questioning the legal basis for this land grab, as Ransom does here, was unheard of in our cinema at this point.
    Last edited by Moor Larkin; 31-03-12 at 09:27 PM.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    Bonzer Cap'n ..............


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