Bran Nue Dae notes
Learning intention: To better understand thematic issues, of Bran Nue Dae and the behaviours, motivations and relationships of the characters. 1. Describe in your own words the events, actions and characters depicted in the animated sequence, the use of both on-screen and camera movement, and the general colour scheme. What might these elements be suggesting to us about the content, mood and themes for the rest of the film? The start has an angel falling down and eventually regains its balance and starts flying above a town when it is knocked down by a bottle who someone threw, which later lands in a pond and scares the fish away.
2. Write a short character sketch of:
o Willie: Shy, likes Rosie, protagonist, wants to be a priest, mothers boy, innocent, caring, honest, free o Rosie: Adventurous/risk taking, doesn’t want to get married right away, o Theresa: Religious, wants the best for Willie, Willie and Slipperys’(half) mother o Uncle Tadpole: Funny, adventurous/carefree, drunk, Willies’ uncle, smart, bad influence, Willies’ father o Lester: Sexist, interested in Rosie, antagonist (to Willie), flirt, bad influence, o Father Benedictus: main antagonist, creepy/weird, racist, strict, weird sense of humour, o Slippery: Hippies, German, respectful, Father B’s son,
o Annie: Hippies, gullible, kind, racist
o Pastor Flakkon: religious, aboriginal,
o Roxanne: Aboriginal, funny, drunk, married,
[Some parts of the movie are choreographed (e.g. Rosie and her friends sitting down in the cinema) to add dramatic aspects-movement] [Humour-(moment when Father B demeans Willie and aborigines) there’s nothing I would rather be-funny and meaningful; it was serious then changed to humour]
3. Write an analysis of the internalised and externalised conflicts experienced by Willie. For example, examine the conflicting desires between those of Willie and those of Theresa, and how these impact on Willie’s relationship with Rosie. Look at the emotional pressures placed on Willie by Father Benedictus and the power relationship between them. Internal conflict (fighting against yourself):
-When Willie watches boy play sport, he thinks of time with Rosie -Rather be with Rosie (Father B: wasting your time, useless) -Feels he’s not good enough
-Confesses about lustful thoughts<<<can’t become a priest -Thinks he wants to be a priest, thinks he isn’t good enough to be one though -Trying to live up to his mothers’ expectations
4. Offer an explanation as to why Willie confesses to stealing food from the tuckshop when none of his boarding mates does so. How does this scene relate to the fact that Willie is Indigenous? In other words, why does he begin to sing ‘There’s nothing I would rather be than to be an Aborigine’ in this scene? -they don’t want to be whacked
-it was serious then changed to humour
-saves the little kid
5. Discuss the following possible view about Willie’s departure: he is running away from, and turning his back on a formal education that will benefit him in the years to come, without having considered or thought about his situation at all. Explain whether you would agree or disagree. I would disagree, considering his mother was hoping for the best for him and yet he just ran away, without even thinking about the consequences in the future.
6. The film concludes with Willie and Rosie in each other’s arms, surrounded by a ‘blackout’ image of a heart. But what is Willie’s future now that he has returned to Broome? What does he mean when he says, near the end of the film, ‘God is here’? What has Willie lost? What has he gained? -Willie has gained what he always wanted truly in his heart, his home and his girl. -Willie lost the chance of being a priest and having respect from everyone.
7. Father Benedictus says to Willie, ‘You want to waste your life like all those useless black fellows up in Broome?’ Is Benedictus correct or not? What do you think he means by...
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