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:: One Night The Moon

“One Night The Moon” is the product of collaboration between MusicArtsDance Films and mdTV (Music Drama Television), and is a cross between a narrative drama and a modern opera. The first scene sets the tone, Paul Kelly, who also composed much of the music, sings about the pain of his lost child as he moves about the kitchen. Once the initial surprise is over, it is relatively easy to accept the characters to conveying the plot and their emotions through song.

Set in Dubbo in the 1930’s and inspired by the documentary “Black Tracker” (based upon the life of Aboriginal Tracker Riley), “One Night The Moon” tells the story of a couple whose young daughter goes missing and of the father’s desperate search for her. In doing this, he refuses the help of a “blackfella”.

Beautifully shot by Kim Batterham and featuring a subtle and sympathetic performance by Kelton Pell as Albert the Tracker, the music is really the star of this film. The story is not strong enough or complex enough to sustain even a fifty-minute film, and if the songs weren’t as emotive and as well matched to the cinematography, it would have quickly gotten tedious.

Alongside Kelly stars his real life wife, Kaarin Fairfax, and their child, Memphis Kelly, as the family at the centre of the film, and their interaction is by far the most touching aspect. The story sags in the middle as the search for the missing girl goes on and on and there is no further development of plot or character. However, as a cinematic opera, or an extended video clip, it has much to offer, and it’s very exciting to see a new form coming from Australian filmmakers and funding bodies.

Screening at Cinema Nova