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Screen memories: film’s knowing and historical trauma in The Tracker


Bullock, M, Screen memories: film's knowing and historical trauma in The Tracker, Studies in Australasian Cinema, 10, (3) pp. 306-323. ISSN 1750-3175 (2016) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.1080/17503175.2016.1274012


This paper examines Rolf de Heer’s 2002 film, ‘The Tracker’, in the context of the ‘history war’ debates relating to frontier violence that were rehearsed in the Australian public sphere during the 1990s/2000s. I examine how ‘The Tracker’ challenges the very terms underpinning conventional forms of historiography, wedded to discourses of ‘fact’ and ‘truth’, in the way it investigates what it means to ‘screen’ memory within the context of the politics of the present. Focusing on ‘The Tracker's' self-conscious use of Peter Coad's arresting paintings of frontier violence, I argue that ‘The Tracker’ develops a nuanced engagement with frontier history in the way it highlights the dialectics of ‘revealing’ and ‘concealing’ – rupture and disavowal – at play in the nation’s ‘screening’ of frontier violence.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Colonial history on screen, The Tracker, Black Wars, Australian history, Australian cultural memory, film and visual culture, history wars, frontier violence, national trauma
Research Division:Creative Arts and Writing
Research Group:Screen and digital media
Research Field:Cinema studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Understanding past societies
Objective Field:Understanding Australia's past
UTAS Author:Bullock, M (Dr Marita Bullock)
ID Code:147403
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2021-10-30
Last Modified:2021-12-23

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