Synopsis by Tracie Cooper
Directed by Craig Lahiff, Black and White is a story about bigotry, social injustice, and a real-life murder trial that made Australian headlines in the late '50s. On a December afternoon in 1958, the body of a nine-year-old white girl is discovered in a cave off the coast of Southern Australia. Detective Paul Turner (Roy Billing) quickly arrests a half-aboriginal fair-worker named Max Stuart (David Ngoombujarra), who signs a confession. However, being that Max is illiterate, the legitimacy of the confession is contested by his legal aid representatives, David O'Sullivan (Robert Carlyle) and Helen Devaney (Kerry Fox). Despite the questionable confession, Max is found guilty by the all-white, all-male jury, and sentenced to be hanged. O'Sullivan lodges a series of appeals, but no conclusive evidence of Max's guilt or innocence has been found to this day.
Australia, cave, confession [admission], murder, racism