The Aboriginal voice and the left-leaning 'Australia' (Baz Luhrmann, 2008)
Starrs, D. Bruno (2012) The Aboriginal voice and the left-leaning 'Australia' (Baz Luhrmann, 2008). Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies, 26(4), pp. 625-636.
Arguing that Baz Luhrmann's "Australia" (2008) is a big-budget, non-independent film espousing a left-leaning political ideology in its non-racist representations of Aborigines on film, this paper suggests the addition of a 'fourth formation' to the 1984 Moore and Muecke model is warranted. According to their theorising, racist "first formation" films promote policies of assimilation whereas "second formation" films avoid overt political statements in favour of more acceptable multicultural liberalism. Moore and Muecke's seemingly ultimate "third formation films", however, blatantly foreground the director's leftist political dogma in a necessarily low budget, independent production. "Australia", on the other hand, is an advance on the third formation because its feminised Aboriginal voice is safely backed by a colossal production budget and indicates a transformation in public perceptions of Aboriginal issues. Furthermore, this paper argues that the use of low-cost post-production techniques such as voice-over narration by racially appropriate individuals and the use of diegetic song in Australia work to ensure the positive reception of the left-leaning message regarding the Stolen Generations. With these devices Luhrmann effectively counters the claims of right-wing denialists such as Andrew Bolt and Keith Windschuttle.
Impact and interest:
Citation counts are sourced monthly from and citation databases.
These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.
Citations counts from theindexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.
Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.
Repository Staff Only: item control page