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    Tracey Moffatt, 1995, courtesy of National Library of Australia, Digital Pictures Collection.
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Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - )

Born
12 November 1960
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Actor, Artist, Director, Film maker, Producer, Scriptwriter and Photographer

Summary

Tracey Moffat is an internationally renowned Aboriginal photographer, documentary maker and director. Moffat's photography is reflected in her films and documentaries, which explore Aboriginal culture by confronting commonly held stereotypes.

Tracey Moffatt was born in 1960 in Brisbane, where she graduated from the Queensland College of Arts. Her debut film, Nice Coloured Girls, won the Most Innovative Film award at the 1988 Festival of Australian Film and Video. At the same festival, she won the Best New Australian Video award for her 5-minute Aboriginal and Islander dance video, Watch Out. Moffatt also produced Moodeitj Yorgas, which includes interviews, dances, and storytelling by Western Australian Aboriginal women. Her film Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy (1990) draws from the 1955 Chauvel film Jedda.

Moffatt's photographic exhibitions include "Some Lads" and "Something More".

Details

Moffat released her first documentary in 1988. A Change of Face critically examined the popular understanding and construction of Australian identity in films, television drama and advertisements.

Moffat's first documentary focused solely on Aboriginal culture is Moodeitj Yorgas (Solid Women). Released in 1989, the film focused on strong and successful Aboriginal women. The film is constructed through the use of interviews, photographs of Aboriginal people and their land, stories about how the arrival of white man changed Aboriginal life (told in two Aboriginal languages), and Aboriginal music and dance. The interviews with Sally Morgan, Lois Olney, Helen Corbett and Helen Dorondorf are symbolic of the collective voice of Aboriginal women.

Her next documentary was Nice Coloured Girls (1989). Moffat again juxtaposed photography with voiceovers to examine the historical relationship between Aboriginal women and white men. The documentary questioned the validity of conventional white history that depicts Aborigines as passive and powerless.

Also in 1989, she wrote and directed Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy. Night Cries was inspired by Charles Chauvel's Jedda (1955), and continued the story of the two main characters, thirty years after Jedda. In the film, the relationship has changed from mother and child to carer and invalid.

Moffat's first feature film Bedevil was a set of three individual ghost stories that interlock to form one cohesive movie. The film was released in 1993 and is the second feature film to be directed by an indigenous Australian.

Sources used to compile this entry: Horton, David (ed.), The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, society and culture, Aboriginal Studies Press for AIATSIS, Canberra, 1994, 2 v. (xxxiii, 1340 p.) pp; McFarlane, Brian, Mayer Geoff and Bertrand, Ina (eds), The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, Oxford University Press, Melbourne, 1999; Horton, David (ed.). The Encyclopaedia of Aboriginal Australia, Vol. 2, Aboriginal Studies Press, Canberra, 1994, p. 711; Night Cries - A Rural Tragedy, [videocassette], Ronin Films, Canberra, 1990. RONIN-FILMS_VIDEO_001, LV1577, Film Archive, AIATSIS, Canberra.

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Archival resources

National Film and Sound Archive

  • Bedevil, 1992 - 1993, 239068; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Boomalli: Five Koori Artists, 1988, 578841; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • A Change of Face, 1988, 138487; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Moffatt, Tracey: Interviewed by Kari Hanet, 1990, 381086; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Moffatt, Tracey: upper body shot, head turned to right, corrugated iron roof in background, 709770; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Moodeitj Yorgas (Solid Women), 1989, 629203; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Nice Coloured Girls, 1989 - 1990, 559182; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Night Cries: A Rural Tragedy, 1989, 524741; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • A Positive Identity for Black Film Makers, 1987, 312085; Sydney Film Festival Forums; National Film and Sound Archive. Details
  • Women 88, 1987, 46113; Moffatt, Tracey (1960 - ); National Film and Sound Archive. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • Biographical cuttings on Tracey Moffatt, film-maker, containing one or more cuttings from newspapers or journals, BIOG; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Digital resources

Title
Tracey Moffatt, 1995
Type
Image
Date
1995
Source
National Library of Australia, Digital Pictures Collection

Details

Hollie Aerts, Leonarda Kovacic and Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/AWE1160b.htm

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