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Night Cries
A Rural Tragedy
A film by Tracey Moffatt
Australia, 1990, 19 minutes, Color, 16mm/35mm/DVD
Order No. W99324
On an isolated, surreal Australian homestead, a middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her dying white mother. The adopted daughter’s attentive gestures mask an almost palpable hostility. Their story alludes to the assimilation policy that forced Aboriginal children to be raised in white families. The stark, sensual drama unfolds without dialogue against vivid painted sets as the smooth crooning of an Aboriginal Christian singer provides ironic counterpoint. Moffatt’s first 35mm film displays rare visual assurance and emotional power.

Newly remastered version available for exhibition


  • New York Film Festival
  • Cannes Film Festival
  • Melbourne Film Festival, Best Australian Film
  • Montreal Women’s Film Festival, Best Short
  • Tampere Short Film Festival, Special Jury Award

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    “A dazzling grand opera of silence and maternity, as opulent as Robert Wilson, as soulfully anguished as Fassbinder.”
    Manohla Dargis
    Best of 1990,Village Voice

    “Unsentimental and self-consciously artificial, the film undermines any easy assumptions or conclusions. Formally innovative and thought-provoking at once.”
    Caryn James
    New York Times

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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

Deep discounts are available when you purchase multiple films. More details.

© Women Make Movies, 2005
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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us