Updated November 28, 2003
|Ned Kelly has been the subject of films since the turn of last century. Nearly all have not let truth get in the way of a good story. We have been keeping track of progress on the latest. Please have your say.|
BESIEGED - THE NED KELLY STORY
An Australian/Irish International Co-Production.
Australian outlaw Ned Kelly's life has been the subject of many films including the Tony Richardson film starring Mick Jagger, and more recently the Heath Ledger film also staring Geoffrey Rush to be released soon in the UK and North America.
Ned Kelly's exploits are soon to be well known,
and they raise the question was he an outlaw, a freedom fighter or a murdering
IAN JONES, author and historian
This film shows how poor social conditions, combined with harsh treatment meted out by the authorities, and a growing sense of nationhood in Australia, led NED KELLY to develop the persona of a rebel or as he put it "Forced Outlaw". It gave him the determination to strike back at the authorities he saw as corrupt and unfair. The film shows how Kelly consciously created his own image and how he found a ready and eager public who supported him.
It is little wonder then that he has become the folk hero and cultural icon that he is today.
"If you tried to create an Australian folk hero, and a frontier
folk hero, you would end up synthesizing a Ned Kelly. But you would never
dare go as far as Ned Kelly did in creating Ned Kelly."
Australians are as divided today as they were 120 years ago when it comes to Ned Kelly. His charisma and exploits have inspired both awe, and fury.
"He loomed larger than Robin Hood for me. He was someone who
was an Australian and an Irishman who stood against the forces of oppression."
"My family don't see it that way they see him as someone who
had murdered 3 policemen. Someone who had been a horse stealer before
that and he'd had a criminal record before that. There's been so much
effort put in by a lot of people to try and turn Ned Kelly into a hero,
now really I don't think that he was."
The rise of terrorism in our world, and on the other hand the persistence of social liberation movements and the ambiguous area between, highlights the most persistent question, "what is the right way to respond to a corrupt government, oppression and injustice?"
"People have this lofty idea that he should have gone along with
British justice. Well British justice means different things to different
people. To the Irish it isn't as high minded a concept as it might be
to the English."
This new documentary traces Kellys life; his Irish parents, his harsh and poverty stricken childhood, his crimes and struggles and the rise of the peoples hero, willing to answer back to often corrupt authorities.
"Not everyone in the north-eastern district was sympathetic to
the Kelly's. Many people were strongly opposed to them and would've dobbed
them in as they say."
The film also explores the legacy of the Kellys, the effects on generations of Kelly descendants who have, until now been unwilling to talk about what it has meant to be a Kelly, because of the way their lives have been affected by the tragedy of the Kelly outbreak of 1879-80.
"I know my uncle always said that Fitzpatrick would never have
gone to the house if he knew Ned was there. He had certainly been pursuing
Kate. Whether Kate had given him any encouragement, I don't know."
BESIEGED: THE NED KELLY STORY
Brief History Of Ned Kelly's Life
Joined by Steve Hart and Joe Byrne, the fame of the Kelly Gang spread when they ambushed a party of police at Stringybark Creek and in the ensuing shootout three troopers were killed.
BESIEGED: THE NED KELLY STORY
Ned Kelly DOCUMENTARY in production (press release)
'BESIEGED' - THE KELLY LEGACY
Now shooting in regional Victoria
and Melbourne "Besieged - The Kelly Legacy" is
a documentary explores and retells the story of Ned Kelly.
The documentary is being shot on location of the events key to the Kelly story: Stringybark Creek, Glenrowan, Beechworth, The Old Melbourne Gaol.
The film is financed with assistance from RLAF - The Regional Victoria Film location Assistance Fund, the Australian Film Commission and the Irish Film Board. It is a co-production between Australian producer/director Gregory Miller of Film Projects and Irish producer/director Barrie Dowdall of Telwell Productions. Peter Fenton who starred in feature film Praise and television series 'Love is a Four letter Word', plays Ned.