Will Wonders Never Cease? Ned in the Movies

article by Zoe Disher

Creates a soundless film clip to demonstrate their opinion of Ned Kelly.

Prior to reading the article, view a snippet of the Ned Kelly movie mentioned in the text, shown in the video World's first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) - Ned is Captured, on YouTube. Note, this video does contain shooting scenes so consider if there are any students that may find this unsuitable before showing the video. Inform students that this is just a selection of clips of what is considered the first feature film.

Discuss students’ opinions of how Ned Kelly is portrayed in the movie by asking them the following:

Who do you think is/are the hero/es in the movie? Why?

Who do you think is/are the villain/s in the movie? Why?

Discuss how the story is revealed. Ensure students note that the film does not have dialogue and that the story is all portrayed through action.

Read the article. Discuss the opinions about the movie held by people at the time of its release that are mentioned in the text (it was considered controversial as it showed him as a hero while authorities considered him a villain).

Direct students to sites to further research Ned Kelly, such as:

Ned Kelly Facts for Kids, on Kiddle

Ned Kelly, on BritannicaKids.com

Discuss whether students believe Ned Kelly is a hero or a villain. Place students in groups based on their opinion, matching students with others based on them holding the same view.

Once students have been matched into groups, instruct them to plan a short soundless clip that could be included in a movie that portrays their opinion of Ned Kelly and his status as a villain or a hero. Students may record their clips using video recording software.

Sample ideas for how to show Ned Kelly as either a villain or a hero have been provided below:

To show Ned Kelly as a villain students may like to show him attacking a civilian

To show Ned Kelly as a hero students may like to show him getting civilians out of the way when a gun fight ensues between him and the law enforcement officers