Journal article

Love is a Battlefield: ‘Maternal’ Emotions and White Catharsis in Baz Luhrmann's Post-Apology ‘Australia’

Odette Kelada

Studies in Australasian Cinema | Taylor & Francis | Published : 2014


In Baz Luhrmann's Australia (2008), audiences encounter emotive scenes including depictions of an Indigenous child stolen from a white 'mother' in a time of war. Given that the film is framed with reference to the history of the Stolen Generations and the Apology, this paper explores the functions of such a narrative in constructions of the white imaginary. Inverting truths around the destruction of Indigenous families and policies of assimilation, management and control requires in this instance the appropriation of the maternal domain of the Indigenous mother by the white female body; an English woman reclaiming 'her' land. Through such a repositioning, anxieties around belonging and guilt..

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University of Melbourne Researchers