Best Movies by Farr
The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith Poster
Released Runtime Category
1977 122 Mystery/Thrillers
Director Language
Fred Schepisi English
Actors
Angela Punch McGregor, Tommy Lewis, Freddy Reynolds, Ray Barrett

The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith

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What's it About
Adapted from the fact-based novel by Thomas Keneally, this film follows the thorny path of the title character, a half-Aborigine, half-white man living in 1900 New South Wales. Caught between the pull of his native roots and pressure to conform to the “civilized” white way of life, Jimmie feels isolated, not part of either world, a fact exacerbated by relentlessly unjust treatment at the hands of his white employers. Things take a violent turn when years of humiliation finally make Jimmie snap.
Why we love it
Featuring believable performances from a cast of mostly non-professional actors (with Lewis a standout as the perennially tortured Jimmie), this gritty, unyielding Australian entry uncovers a stain on that country’s history in exploring the plight of marginalized Aboriginal communities over a century ago. While “Chant” pulls no punches regarding Australia’s systematic eradication of the Aboriginal culture, nor does it downplay its protagonist’s gut-wrenching violence. Ultimately, Jimmie’s shocking acts inspire both revulsion and a measure of sympathy. Though not for the faint of heart, this underexposed gem from Down Under certainly deserves a wider audience.

BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"