Reviewing Ned Kelly’s Documentary

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

The latter of Australians know of Ned Kelly. Ned Kelly the outlaw who wore an extraordinary suit of armour, led a fierce gang of bushrangers, and challenged the law and its enforcers. This documentary will look at the man behind the mask. To some, he is nothing more than a notorious criminal who unforgivably chose to take up arms against society. To others, Ned is a national hero, icon of the Australian imagination, and embodiment of the Australian spirit. Sinner or saint, his story deserves to be told.

The documentary will commence with a panning shot of the Australian bush accompanied by natural sounds. This will establish the setting and mood. After the camera has scanned the area it will track in on a young boy being swept off the banks of a creek. The screen will fade to black and the sound of running footsteps will be played. The camera will now be focused on the legs of the running person. It will zoom out to reveal a young Ned Kelly trying to escape from something. He will come to a halt to catch his breath when he notices the young boy drowning in the creek. Ned will then heroically dive in and save the drowning boy. Back on the banks, the young boy will reward Ned with a green sash. This dramatisation shows the audience that even though Ned was a bit of a trouble maker in his early years, he was also very sympathetic and compassionate.

The dramatisation continues with the camera slowly zooming in on the sash as Ned ties it to his person. Using montage, the sash becomes tainted as it commences to zoom out, revealling Ned Kelly, now in his late teens, standing in a dark courtroom. The darkness sets an eerie mood, somewhere where Ned doesn’t want to be. The judge will state the crimes Ned has commited and Ned will respond, “My father is dead so I must support my family, and I will.” The judge will give Ned six months hard labour and start laughing as the screen fades to black. The conclusion of the dramatisation informs the audience that Ned was both the family man and the man of the family. His determination and compassion are shown in his words. The judges laugh symbolizes Ned’s inferiority The objective of this documentary is to withdraw from the focus of Ned as a criminal and to unearth his identity and true passion as an Australian. A mixed documentary combining narration, cinema-verite, dramatisations, and interviews with Ned’s mother and law officers will be used to acknowledge this man in his journey for justice and freedom.

Family photos will now be presented to the viewers, as Ned’s mother, through interview, describes home life for the Kelly family. She will explain Ned’s emotions and actions towards moving to Eleven Mile Creek, his father’s death, poverty, and the law and its enforcers. This interview reveals Ned’s bravery, boldness and again, compassion through tough times. His distrust and dislike of the authorities can also be gathered from the interview. Ned’s mother describes him as “a pure hearted man doing what he had to do to survive in this harsh, unforgiving world.” As the screen fades to black, the judges voice is heard, “Again?”. The setting is now back in the dark courtroom. A low-angle shot is used to emphasize a slightly older Ned’s inferiority towards the highly situated judge. The judge again states Ned’s crimes. Ned responds, “Last time I was supporting my family. This time I am innocent.” The judge will give Ned three years hard labour and begin laughing again as the screen fades to black. A narrator informs the viewers that Ned had been wrongfully accused for stealing a horse. The use of the narrator in this scene is to notify the audience that Ned was an innocent man and show the authorities injustice towards him. Ned’s inferiority is further emphasized in the judges second laugh.

The opinions of authorities would be important in evaluating Ned’s life, so, through interview, two police officers will now share their point of view with the audience. They will share stories about Ned and his many run-ins with the law. Describing his bravery, and cowardice, his boldness, and stupidy, and his never-ending struggle for justice and freedom. Also, they will read and comment on a collection of letters to the authorities which Ned left with his hostages every time his gang robbed a bank. The audience will pick up on the fact that these days Ned is a respected character, even by the police, and the inferiority and injustice that was shown to him back when he was alive is no more.

A narrator will now give a brief summary of the rest of Ned Kelly’s life as the panning shot of the Australian bush is replayed. This is done at this part of the documentary as the concluding scene is to follow. This will enlighten the audience so as to not leave them wondering why the rest of his life was not assessed or dramatised. His police shootings, bank robberies, death, and the showdown at Glenrowan Hotel will all be covered at this point.

The concluding scene will commence with an adult Ned seen being released from prison. A close-up shot will show an expression of determination on his face. This expression shows Ned’s transformation from a mischevious adolescent to a serious and focused man. Using montage, Ned’s face will transform into a ‘Wanted’ poster. This will indicate the beggining of his life of crime as an outlaw. The poster will be ripped off the wall by the hands of Ned Kelly. As the camera moves up from his hands to his face, the audience will be able to see how the bush life has tainted Ned’s appearence. A close up of Ned’s dirty, rugged face will reveal empty, bloodshot eyes and a meaningful frown. As the camera slowly zoom’s out, Ned’s now torn and worn sash will be visible. This will represent his courage and compassion that once burnt brightly, and still is alight. Standing behind him will be his gang of bushrangers wearing their infamous suits of armour. This will show their support and mateship towards one another. Lying at Ned’s feet will be a deceased police officer. This will indicate that Ned’s life of crime has not yet diminished. As the screen fades to black Ned’s mother’s words will be replayed, “a pure hearted man doing what he had to do to survive in this harsh, unforgiving world.” Finally a famous quote by Ned Kelly himself will be displayed on the black screen, “It depends on what side of the court room you sit. To some I was a sinner, to others a saint. All words can be, and are twisted.”

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