Black Magic


Black Magic is more than a film about sport. It is an account of the creative use of sport made by the Noongar people of Western Australia's south-west to advance their people's standing.

Noongar Aboriginal people, from as early as 1920, channelled the natural talent of their young people into competitive sport, notably running, boxing and football.

With boxing and foot-racing at country shows open to all, Beaufort Dinah, 'King of the Blackfellows', and Ernie Cockie became champion fighters.

Stakes were high at professional foot-racing. Archie Jones, a brilliant runner, was undefeated until his own promoter was betting against him.

In national football, the Hayward Brothers broke into the WA league in the 1930s, about the same time Doug Nicolls pioneered Aboriginal involvement in the Victorian Football League.

They were followed by Graham Farmer and Ted Kilmurray [1950s] to more current players such as Nicky Winmar, Jim and Phillip Krakouer and Derek Kickett.

Through the narrative of these sportsmen, their relatives and friends, the film establishes that the motivation to succeed in sport arises from a more general desire to be accepted and recognised. The close kinship bonds that link Noongar families, the quality of interaction between the generations, and an Aboriginal value system that Noongars would like others to understand and share are revealed through personal stories told with pathos and wry humour.

The background music and artwork in the film have been produced from within the community, creating a rich, cohesive picture of Noongar life and culture.


G - general
Ronin Films

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Harvard citation

Korff, J 2018, Black Magic, <>, retrieved 15 June 2021

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