The Cake Man


An Aboriginal storyteller tells the story of an Aboriginal family's hopes, The Cake Man is a compassionate plea for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people to look again at the origins of mutual distrust and work together to restore a precious lost heritage rather than live at the expense of the rights of a minority.

The film is a social issue drama centred around the plight of an Aboriginal family on a country mission station. The 'Cake Man' is sent to give Aboriginal children the same opportunities as white children. He tells them of how he was blinded by wicked men and could not tell the difference between black and white, and how he came to recover his sight.

It tells the story of Aboriginal family life in a NSW country town, which is an important portrayal of contemporary Aboriginal society, highlighting social problems, inequalities and lack of human dignity.

The plot deals with the problems of life on a reserve run by missionaries; how Christianity was foisted on Aboriginal society at the beginning of white contact, leading to almost complete loss of tradition, language and culture. The play was originally a Black Theatre production, which received wide acclaim in the USA, as well as within Australia.

The Cake Man is the first tele-movie based on a script written by an Aboriginal playwright.


Brian Syron - Sweet William
Justine Saunders
Edward Phillips
Neil Fitzpatrick
Hugh Keays-Byrne
Graham Rouse
Ray Marshall
Terry Jowett

Based on the play of the same name by Aboriginal playwright Robert Merritt from Erambie Aborigines' Reserve, Cowra. Merritt wrote The Cake Man while he was in gaol and the play was then smuggled out of the gaol by the Prison Education Officer to the Australian National Playwrights Conference (ANPC).

A TV movie by the ABC.

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Cite this page

Korff, J 2020, The Cake Man, <>, retrieved 14 June 2024

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