Britain established a penal colony in Australia in 1788 and, in 'Prisons on Film’, Paul Byrnes argues that Australian cinema has never forgotten this criminal record.
He cites as illustration influential heroes and anti-heroes depicted on screen as early as The Story of the Kelly Gang in 1906 through to Chopper (2000) and Here I Am (2011).
'Our foundation heroes on film were jailbirds and bushrangers, starting with Ned Kelly in 1906. The bushranger genre was so popular in Australia in the first decade of the 20th century that it was banned in two states, New South Wales and Victoria, because the police thought it was encouraging lawlessness.’
Our homepage features stills from Chopper (2000), The Boys (1998), Everynight… Everynight (1994), Lucky Miles (2007) and The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906).
Read the Prisons on Film collection.
The still above is from Lucky Miles (2007).