Set in the 1890s in the central desert region of Australia, Seremades tells the tale of Jila who is conceived when her Afghan cameleer father wins her Aboriginal mother in a card game.

Raised initially in an Aboriginal community, Jila, on the death of her mother, is moved to a nearby Lutheran mission where she befriends the pastor’s son Johann. Jila’s father, keen to reunite with his daughter, trades with the Lutheran Minister who exchanges Jila for the price of a pig (which the Afghan, a follower of Islam, is loathe to transport).

Jila reaches adulthood under the strict mores of her father’s remote Islamic community. On the brink of an arranged marriage to a significantly older holy man in the Ghan Camp, Johann reappears in Jila’s life and the battle for Jila’s freedom begins.


Release dates
May 31st, 2001 - Australia
July 27th, 2001 - UK
World premiere at the Perth International Arts Festival on February 5th, 2001.
Video/DVD release date
October 17th, 2001 (Fox Home Video); November 22nd, 2005
M - Mature
Southern Star Film & Ancillary Sales, Palace Films
Davood A. Tabrizi

Find a copy of "Serenades"

Explore more Aboriginal movies

Aboriginal movie timeline

Explore movie history with the Aboriginal film timeline.

Take the quiz: Are you an Aboriginal movie buff?

Cite this resource

An appropriate citation for this document is:, Movies - Serenades, retrieved 17 December 2018