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  • Bastardy
  • Bastardy


SKU: SG583
    Provocative, funny and profoundly moving, Bastardy is the inspirational story of a self-proclaimed Robin Hood of the streets.

    For forty years and with infectious humour and optimism, Jack Charles has juggled a life of crime with another successful career – acting. Since founding the first Aboriginal theatre company in the 1970s, Jack has performed with renowned Australian actors (Geoffrey Rush, David Gulpilil and Bill Hunter) and directors of feature films (The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith [Fred Schepisi, 1978]; Bedevil [Tracey Moffatt, 1993]) television series and hundreds of plays, including Bastardy, John Romeril's 1972 play about Jack Charles from which this film's title comes.

    Filmmaker Amiel Courtin-Wilson follows Jack over seven years – gradually blurring the line between director and accomplice as Jack continually traverses the criminal and acting worlds.

    The film opens with scenes from some of Jack's best-known cinema roles as well as archival footage of the Stolen Generations, crucial to our understanding of Jack's journey. These scenes are intercut with shots of Jack as we first meet him: shooting up, sleeping rough and wandering the streets of inner suburban Melbourne, guitar slung over his shoulder.

    In and out of jails for many years for burglary offences, Jack is now facing a jail sentence he might not survive. He is forced to decide if he can go straight and stay clean for the first time in his life.

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