Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978)

This critically acclaimed Australian film about an aborigine man pushed to the brink somehow ended up as a section 3 video nasty.

Director Fred Schepisi left Australia for a decade after making this movie, directing films like RoxanneIceman and Six Degrees of Separation. That’s because even though this movie was a big success, the promotional costs took away the profits, taking Schepsi’s entire monetary investment on the film.

Jimmie Blacksmith (Tom E. Lewis) is the son of an Aboriginal mother and a white father, a fact that brands him as an outcast even though Reverend Neville and his wife Martha attempt to raise him to have better opportunities than society would expect. Of course, when he goes out into the world to work, he’s taken advantage of at every turn, from employees that don’t pay him fairly to others that force him to found up other Aboriginals. Finally, when he gets a decent job on the Newby farm he’s able to bring his girlfriend — already pregnant with another man’s child — as well as two relatives to live with him.

The Newby family soon turns against Jimmie, with even the women telling his girlfriend to take her child and leave him behind. He decides to put a scare into them, but it gets out of hand and nearly every Newby woman and child is hacked to pieces. Jimmie goes on the run but declares war on everyone that has wronged him, seeking out past employers and butchering them.

Yet Jimmie can’t stay on the run forever, not when the entire town — maybe the entire world — wants to see him hung.

Just as much a lesson on racism as it was when it was released, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith doesn’t really belong amongst the video nasty cannibals and beasts. But there it remains.

You can get this from Kino Lorber or watch it on Tubi.

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