Bran Nue Dae (musical)


Bran Nue Dae is a documentary revolving around the Aboriginal playwright Jimmy Chi, writer of the play of the same name. The movie explores the issues behind the musical which is a blend of road movie, comedy, song, dance and romance.

It took Jimmy many years to create Bran Nue Dae which is a combination of his own experiences, his world views and the musical score of local Broome band Kuckles.

Set in Jimmy’s home town of Broome Bran Nue Dae tells the story of an Aboriginal boy’s flight home from a Catholic boarding school city in Perth to his homeland at Djaridjin (known to Europeans as Lombadina), searching his identity.

The music derives from sources as disparate as traditional Aboriginal performance, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, Hollywood musicals and the rituals of the Roman Catholic Mass.

Bran Nue Dae is structured around two main themes: the production of the musical and the life of Jimmy Chi. Both elements are interwoven with key participants, players in Jimmy’s life and archival footage.

A few lines from the musical:

This fella song all about the Aboriginal people, coloured people, black people longa Australia. Us people want our land back, we want ‘em rights, we want ‘em fair deal, all same longa white man. Now this fella longa Canberra, he bin talkin’ about a Bran Nue Dae - us people bin waiting for dijwun for 200 years now. Don’ know how much longer we gotta wait, and boy it’s makin’ me slack.

[Sings:] Here I live in this tin shack
Nothing here worth coming back
to drunken fights and awful sights
people drunk most every night.

On the way to a Bran Nue Dae
Everybody everybody say
On the way to a Bran Nue Dae
Everybody everybody say.


Ernie Dingo
John Moore
Maroochy Barambah
Bob Faggetter
Stephen Albert
Rohanna Angus
Release dates
1991 - Australia
Sydney Myer Award
PG - Parental guidance

The play is Australia’s first Aboriginal musical and premiered in Perth, Western Australia in 1990.

In 2009 Aboriginal director Rachel Perkins filmed a feature movie about Bran Nue Dae.

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An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Bran Nue Dae (musical), retrieved 12 December 2018