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[ABORIGINES; WESTERN AUSTRALIA] The Blonde Captive
Promotional photograph for the film 'The Blonde Captive' (1932), showing three Aborigines seated outside a group of shelters, gelatin silver print , 200 x 255 mm, lower margin with imprinted title and Produced by the Northern Australia Expedition Syndicate, an absolutely authentic amazing adventure. A Columbia Production, some discreet tape repairs covering pin holes to edges verso, otherwise excellent. 'In 1928 the Australian racial psychologist Stanley David Porteus went to northwest Western Australia and central Australia to conduct psychological and psychophysical studies of sample Aboriginal groups. Porteus was accompanied by Paul Withington, a Honolulu surgeon and explorer, and two cinematographers. Withington, presenting the fa├žade of a serious investigator searching for evidence of Neanderthal Man, told A.O. Neville, chief protector of Aborigines in Western Australia, that he was also making a film about Aboriginal life for educational purposes. After leaving Australia, Neville became increasingly concerned about this film. His queries to Porteus were met with uncertainty, and he received only silence from Withington. When the film was finally released, its representation of Aboriginal life was grossly distorted. This had far-reaching consequences for future researchers in Western Australia'. (Geoffrey Gray, 2004). This controversial film possessed a racially insensitive and ficticious plot synopsis, and only managed to see the light of day because of a highly unethical and extreme editing process: what was supposed to be legitimate documentary film footage was manipulated in a sinister and cynical manner in order to produce a sensationalist film that was only ever screened in North American movie theatres, gaining a short release in 1932. It was banned in Australia and has never been publically screened in this country. A partially reconstructed version of the film, restored from a nitrate dupe negative was screened at the XXXI Mostra Internazionale del Cinema Libero (Il Cinema Ritrovato ) in Bologna, June–July 2002. Recently another print of the film has surfaced and been made commercially available on DVD. For an account of the genesis, making and subsequent history of this film see Geoffrey Gray, http://www.jstor.org/pss/40111543
      [Bookseller: Douglas Stewart Fine Books]
Last Found On: 2012-12-27           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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