AustLit logo
person or book cover
Screen cap
form y separately published work icon Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy single work   film/TV  
Issue Details: First known date: 1989... 1989 Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

Latest Issues

AbstractHistoryArchive Description

A middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her old white mother. During her tending of the old woman, she expresses her frustrations and previously suppressed anger, her own need for warmth and love, and her personal loneliness. Her memories and dreams invade her nerve-fraying routine until the old woman dies and she begins to experience an immense sense of loss.

In the ABC Radio National program, It's Not A Race in May 2017, Marcia Langton notes that Night Cries is the retelling of Jedda as a horror story.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Into the Transpocene : The Future of Indigenous Art Ian McLean , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: Artlink , 1 June vol. 37 no. 2 2017; (p. 28-34)
'Black Is The New White is Nakkiah Lui’s romantic comedy commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company for the May/June 2017 season. It milks laughs from a stereotypical narrative of a privileged young black woman bringing her inappropriate boyfriend home to meet her parents. The twist— although not much of one these days—is that the boyfriend is white. Black Is The New White is also the name of the 2007 autobiography by African American comic genius Paul Mooney. We can reach further back to the early 1990s: to Gordon Bennett’s sweet watercolours of black angels and his more ghoulish messenger between worlds, the large scarified Altered Body Print (Shadow Figure Howling at the Moon) (1994) with its mashed binaries and grotesque white/black, male/female, human/ animal totemic‑like monster. Before Bennett there was Tracey Moffatt’s sweet black angel Jimmy Little on the royal telephone to heaven, an ironic serenade to her grim horror film, Night Cries (1989), which unsettled normative understandings of black/ white relations with chilling effect.' (Introduction)
y separately published work icon Rosalie, Marcia and Jedda Beverley Wang (interviewer), Canberra : ABC Radio National , 2017 16902557 2017 single work interview podcast

'Back in 1955 Rosalie Kunoth-Monks and Robert Tudawali starred in Jedda.

'It was the first film in Australian history to feature actual Indigenous actors in the leading roles.

'Kunoth-Monks played the central character of Jedda, and the film broke new ground in terms of representation.

'But the film's depiction of Indigenous Australians — drawing on romanticised stereotypes — is also problematic.

'Professor Marcia Langton played the character of Jedda in Night Cries, a 1989 response to the original film.

'Langton and Kunoth-Monks talk to It's Not A Race to discuss the legacy of the film, and their experiences playing the iconic character of Jedda.'


Meet the Woman Bringing Aboriginal Cinema to the Screens of Paris Sandra R. Phillips (interviewer), 2016 single work interview
— Appears in: The Conversation , 2 June 2016;

'In a tiny cinema in the Latin Quarter of Paris, something very unusual for French filmgoers is on display. For five days, the programme at Cinema La Clef is devoted not to the latest Hollywood blockbusters, nor to the finest French cinema, but to the best examples of Australian Indigenous film-making.'

'The first Festival of Australian Aboriginal Cinema (La Festival du Cinéma Aborigène Australien) will showcase films that may have garnered awards at Cannes, but are nonetheless unfamiliar to audiences in one of the world’s capitals of cinematic culture. It is the first festival of its kind in Europe.'

Films at St Kilda 2016 single work column
— Appears in: Koori Mail , 18 May no. 626 2016; (p. 35)
'Indigenous short film will be showcased at St Kilda Film Festival with films from Indigenous directors Tracy Moffatt, Warwick Thornton and Richard Franklin selected for the festival's Short Black program. ...'
Trans-Muting Cinema : Tracey Moffatt's Films Katrin Althans , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Darkness Subverted : Aboriginal Gothic in Black Australian Literature and Film 2010; (p. 147-182)
In this essay, Althans analyses two of Tracey Moffatt's films: Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1989) and BeDevil (1993).
Untitled Peter Kemp , 2000 single work review
— Appears in: Senses of Cinema , November no. 10 2000;

— Review of Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy Tracey Moffatt , 1989 single work film/TV
No Inhibitions Jane Freebury , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Society , September vol. 9 no. 9 1990; (p. 49)

— Review of Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy Tracey Moffatt , 1989 single work film/TV
A New Light on Black Australia Paul Harris , 1990 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 2 November 1990; (p. 4,16)

— Review of Night Cries : A Rural Tragedy Tracey Moffatt , 1989 single work film/TV
Stammering 'Country' Pedagogies : Sickness for and of the Home Sneja Gunew , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , no. 86 2006; (p. 73-82, notes [183-185])
Includes discussion of several Australian works used in a graduate seminar in Canada in 2001 on the theme of content and country.
Arresting Metaphors : Anti-Colonial Females in Australian Cinema Anthony Lambert , 2005 single work criticism
— Appears in: Postcolonial Text , vol. 1 no. 2 2005;
'This paper attempts to advance new understandings of female cinematic agency by interrogating its connection to patterns of cultural colonialism in Australian film. The visual presence of female Aboriginality in contemporary Australian film undermines, in subtle and explicit ways, the possibility of a truly secure white identity tied to the Australian environment. It does so through the introduction of the complexities of Aboriginal difference, through the subversion of white cinematic narratives and mythologies, and through physical agency and action. In this way, the anti-colonial impulse in the cinema emerges, in films which effectively 'unearth' the continuing cinematic metaphors of colonial power. -- From the journal.
Conclusion : Transcultural Improvisations Sneja Gunew , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: Haunted Nations : The Colonial Dimensions of Multiculturalisms 2003; (p. 125-132)
Myths and Absent Signifiers in Representations of Aboriginal Identity in Australian Cinema Suneeti Rekhari , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Indigenous Issues , December vol. 10 no. 4 2007; (p. 3-13)
Dreaming Back : Tracy Moffatt's Bedeviling Films Alessandra Senzani , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: Post Script , Fall vol. 27 no. 1 2007; (p. 50-71)
Last amended 2 Jun 2017 10:25:40
    Powered by Trove