Based the book The Day of The Dog by Archie Weller, who co-wrote the script with the director, Ricketson’s film tells of an part-Aboriginal (John Moore) caught between his allegiance to his “people” and his aspirations to escape the cycle of abuse and self-destructive behaviour in which they live in the name of “brotherhood”.
On one side is his life-long friend, the charismatic but feckless “Pretty Boy” (David Ngoombujarra), and the girl to whom he is attracted, Polly (Jaylene Riley). On the other there is his white mother (Julie Hudspeth) and the values and material comforts of white man’s civilization.
Although the script tends to rely overmuch on a conventional narrative trajectory, for the most part it convincingly depicts the incompatibilities of Aboriginal and Anglo-Australian world views and the realities of the Aboriginals’ marginalized lives (the Nyoongah people whose homeland is now occupied by Perth where this story is set contributed to the film).
Using a largely untrained cast, the performances by Moore and Riley do lack rhythm at times and Ricketson’s direction, particularly of action sequences can lack finesse but David Ngoombujarra, who won an AFI Best Supporting Actor, exudes a natural charisma whilst overall the film resonates with a trenchant truthfulness that makes it well worth watching.
- John Moore - Doug Dooligan
David Ngoombujarra - Floyd "Pretty Boy" Davies
Jaylene Riley - Polly
Lisa Kinchela - Valerie
Ernie Dingo - Percy
John Hargreaves - Detective Maxwell
Julie Hudspeth - Mrs Dooligan
Jack Charles - Carey
Michael Watson - Hughie
Kelton Pell - Willice
Mick Innes - Kev
Andy King - Prison Officer
Bill McClusky - Team Coach
Leslie Wright - Magistrate
James Sollis - Opposition Footballer
- Release dates
- Sydney, Melbourne opened on August 26, 1993
Perth opened September 2, 1993
Official national release date November 4, 1993
- Video/DVD release date
- 1995 (This release lacks brilliance), 2003, 2005
- 1993 AFI Best Actor in a Supporting Role, David Ngoombujarra
1993 AFI Best Screenplay Adapted from another source, James Ricketson
1993 Sydney Film Critics Award, David Ngoombujarra
- MA 15+ - Mature accompanied
- Ronin Films, 21st Century Video
- Merv Graham, David Milroy
Based on the novel The Day of the Dog by Archie Weller.
James Ricketson played an acting role in the movie Wo die Grünen Ameisen trämen (Where the Green Ants Dream).
The movie Blackfellas is set in Perth.
Find a copy of "Blackfellas (Day of the Dog)"
Explore more Aboriginal movies
Aboriginal movie timeline
Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.
Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?