One Night The Moon


The Australian Outback - 1932. Entranced by the moon, a young girl steps out of her bedroom window. When her parents check on her, she is gone. The police suggest aboriginal tracker Albert lead the search, but the father revolts - insisting - no black-fella is to set foot on his land.

Instead, he gathers together as many white men as he can find, and conducts a line search across the desolate plains in search of the child. Albert watches helplessly as her every trace is stamped to dust.

Sometime later, the daughter is still missing, and the mother makes a decision to take responsibility into her own hands, to reconcile the loss of her child. She goes to find Albert.

One Night The Moon tells the story of a young, white girl who got lost in the outback and died due to her parents' refusal to allow an Aboriginal tracker on their land. With a boldness that catches the breath, Perkins has made a film whose originality lies in its operatic form, its refusal to obey the accepted rules of mainstream cinema concerning verisimilitude and realism, and its focus on the white family's tragedy.

Initially, the story was that of the black Tracker Riley but Perkins changed the focus to the white mother. This disconcerts those in the audience who expect a black focus from an Arrente filmmaker.

I wanted to make a film about the space between black and white Australians.

— Rachel Perkins, director


Kaarin Fairfax - White mother
David Field
Chris Haywood
Ruby Hunter - Tracker's wife
Paul Kelly - White farmer
Memphis Kelly - White girl
Kelton Pell - Aboriginal tracker
Release dates
November 8th, 2001 - Australia
December 19th, 2002 - Germany
Video/DVD release date
video: January 12th, 2002; DVD: May 15th, 2002
Best musical, Best cinematography in a short film (2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival) Best cinematography in a non-feature film, best original score (2001 Australian Film Institute (AFI)) Best television original, the Golden AWGIE (2001 Australian Writers' Guild's Awgie Awards) Gold Award (2001 Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS)) Best non-feature photography, non-feature music (Australia 2001) Genre Award (2001 New York International Independent Film & Video Festival) Special Achievement Award (2002 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards)
MA 15+ - Mature accompanied
Kev Carmody, Mairead Hannan, Paul Kelly

Ruby Hunter, a well-known Aboriginal folk, jazz and blues singer, is casting the tracker's wife. It's her first venture into acting.

In September 2009 One Night The Moon was adapted into a stage play at the Melbourne Malthouse Theatre, directed by Murri playwright Wesley Enoch.

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Korff, J 2019, One Night The Moon, <>, retrieved 19 July 2024

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