Analysis Of The Film 'uncivilised' As An Ideological Vehicle Of Subjective Expression And Representation In Australian Society.

1892 words - 8 pages

The film "Uncivilised" is an example of the amplified power of film as both an ideological tool of subjective expression and representation. Subverting and ignoring any truthful knowledge or realistic portrayal concerning the culture and character of Indigenous Australians, Uncivilised is simply an amalgamation of the prejudicial views against Aborigines during the colonial period and the early twentieth century. The film reveals a supremacist attitude against Indigenous Australians within Australian culture which seeks to define Aborigines as savage, primitive, wild and simply uncivilised. Whether it be via the lack of linguistic reciprocity or the inauthentic portrayal of Aboriginal culture, life, ideology and tradition, Uncivilised is a fictitious vision of the indigenous Australian savage. By perpetuating this savage stereotype of Indigenous Australians, the film-makers allow the desire to eliminate and subjugate the Aboriginal people to be justified and realised within the White audience. Uncivilised also reveals the white European fear of losing their superiority over other cultures and the continuous desire to maintain that white European race superiority and purity in the face of the Indigenous threat.Within Uncivilised an overt supremacist attitude against Indigenous Australians takes precedence over any accurate portrayal of Aboriginal life or culture. In an attempt to dismiss the noble savage concept, Uncivilised seeks to reveal the savagery of the Aborigines as 'godless anarchy, violence and sexual depravity'. It is Mara and Beatrice who embody the roles of exotic freedom through nature visualised by swimming in a spring where instead the Aborigines are shown to embody Reynold's description of the true savage. Through the referral of the Aborigines as 'black hounds of Hell' or 'poor devils' and the representation of their spiritual beliefs as 'black man magic', the film-makers represent Aboriginal spiritualism as 'fearful superstitions'. Beatrice's horror at the Aborigines eating snake symbolises the true savage's 'bestial tastes' , while the 'indolent habits' of the primitive savage are represented in the Aborigines through the use of drugs such as pituri, where even Mara the white man protests against its use and effects. The 'nomadic dispositions' of the Aboriginal tribes are used as a example of their primitive and uncivilised ways, whereby Beatrice's seclusion in the unexplored Australian wilderness and tribal village is an expression of the disdain of Aboriginal life. Shown to be constantly fighting and dancing in rituals, the Indigenous Australians are represented as corporeal rather than theological or intellectual to conform to the savage and primitive stereotype. By being represented as a mass or crowd but not as individuals, Uncivilised affirms the audience in their belief that the Aborigines are a race which 'drowns personality into the collective rather than respecting unitary individual consciousness'. Reinforcing the...

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