Following its world premiere at the Melbourne International Film Festival last week, the new feature documentary Jimmy Barnes: Working Class Boy is set to be released in cinemas nationally from Thursday on over 220 screens, making it the biggest Australian documentary release so far, and the biggest documentary release since Michael Jaskosn’s This is it in 2009.
The Documentary gives fans the chance to understand how the boy, James Dixon Swan, became the household name and Aussie icon we know today as Jimmy Barnes.
Caption: Jimmy & His Older Brother John
Acclaimed director Mark Joffe of Jack Irish, House of Hancock and The Man Who Sued God has crafted an unflinching, powerful and transcendent documentary that is raw, confronting and at times darkly funny. Jimmy insists he was nervous to see his life played out on film, but knew his friend was the man for the job.
“I trust Mark artistically and emotionally, we’ve been through a lot together and he’s a close, dear friend. I knew he would do a good job and to be honest, he’s exceeded my expectations,” said Barnes.
The film explores Jimmy’s childhood as he retraces his earliest steps through the hard streets of Glasgow before reliving his South Australian upbringing all while uncovering the deep and raw themes of domestic violence, poverty and alcoholism.
The documentary also features captivating musical moments of Jimmy, Cold Chisel and special duets with his children, Mahalia Barnes and David Campbell, plus his brother-in-law, Diesel. A new collaboration with Richard Tognetti’s Australian Chamber Orchestra is another highlight.
Caption: Cold Chisel at Fox Studios | Credit: Ken Leanfore
The documentary is based on Jimmy’s acclaimed memoir, Working Class Boy, His self-penned book won the 2017 ABIA Award as Australia’s ‘Biography of The Year,’ and spent a staggering 16 weeks at #1. It sold over 250,000 copies, making it one of the biggest autobiographies in our country’s history.
I was lucky enough to attend one of Jimmy’s live shows while touring the book which he runs you through this amazing story.
The companion album, Working Class Boy – The Soundtracks is OUT NOW on Bloodlines Music with JimmyBarnes giving his royalties from the album sales for this year to help drought relief efforts.
Jimmy explains, “Like so many Australians the media images of farmers in crisis have made my family and me want to do something to help with drought relief. There are lots of benefit gigs and other things being discussed right now and we’ll do what we can for those in due course. In the meantime, as an initial gesture, we wanted to let you know that we’ll be donating all of this year’s royalties from the “Working Class Boy” soundtrack to drought relief charities”.