One Night The Moon

The following is an extract from the final shooting script of One Night The Moon © 2001 MusicArtsDance films Pty Ltd. The credits for this scene are: writers John Romeril and Rachel Perkins; lyrics Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly (Publishing Administered by Mushroom Music); music Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly. It is published here with the kind permission of the film’s producers.

The following scene takes place the morning after the Child (Memphis Kelly) has gone missing. A search party is being put together at the Father’s (Paul Kelly) property. He bluntly refuses the inclusion of an Aboriginal man, Albert (Kelton Pell), to partake in the search despite the invaluable tool of ‘tracking’ that he brings. At this point, the scene gives way to the song “This Land is Mine/This Land is Me”, which melodically and thematically positions the Father and Albert as opposite counterpoints to each other. It’s a highlight of the film.

Ed

* * *

31.   EXT FARMHOUSE DAWN

FADE UP FROM BLACK

The sun rises over the Flinders.

The roadside is a scatter of parked cars and trucks. Here cooking fires are being tended. Men are washing themselves, checking equipment and supplies. One crawls from where he slept, under a truck. Others emerge from tents and swags.

The extent of the scene is sampled. It’s like an overnight temporary city has sprung up. A fifty strong search party of VOLUNTEERS has gathered at the farm.

The MOTHER is pouring tea from a big pot for VOLUNTEERS from the verandah. The SEARGENT approaches her. The MOTHER pours him tea. He and the MOTHER watch as the FATHER arrives and dismounts from his horse.

MOTHER
Cup of tea.?

The FATHER walks past her to the SEARGENT.

FATHER
We going to sit around having tea all day or we going to get going?

The SERGEANT takes in the surrounding countryside. A car is approaching in the distance.

SERGEANT
Now that Albert’s arrived, yes, we can begin.

They watch as the car pulls up and ALBERT and ALLMAN get out of the car. ALBERT is now also in police uniform. The MOTHER goes to the FATHER.

ALBERT waits a moment, notes the open windows of the house. He looks up toward the sun, just rising over the mountain range and tilts down from that toward the house where he finally notices the parents talking together, obviously about him. ALBERT and ALLMAN walk toward the house.

The MOTHER looks apprehensively at the FATHER as he watches them approach. The SEARGENT walks down the stairs to meet them.

SERGEANT
Morning

ALBERT
Mornin’ Sergeant

SERGEANT
This is Jim Ryan

ALBERT nods up at the FATHER standing up on the veranda, but the FATHER does not respond. ALLMAN notes their cold response.

SERGEANT
Their little girl is missing, disappeared sometime between ten and one last night, has therefore been gone approximately six hours. Probably run off or possibly taken . see if you can get a track and direction, we’ll follow you and ALLMAN from there.

ALBERT
Right.

FATHER (to SEARGENT)
Hang on a minute.I don’t think we’ll be needing his (ALBERT’S) services.

SERGEANT
Albert is a police officer and also a highly skilled blacktracker

The FATHER gives the MOTHER a look. She drops the kettle and goes inside

FATHER
Listen sergeant, my daughter is out there and I’m not having some blackfella leading the search party

SERGEANT
You’ve been up all night, you’re not thinking straight

FATHER
It’s my daughter and my station and I’ll decide who can be on my land..

The FATHER waits for someone to question his authority.no one does.

FATHER
.alright.

The FATHER walks down the steps past ALBERT and ALLMAN. The SEARGENT turns to ALBERT.

SERGEANT
OK Allman, get the men ready and get ALBERT off the property.

ALLMAN
But a mob this big’ll wipe out just about every track that kid’s.. (left)

The SEARGENT cuts him off.

SERGEANT
My hands are tied

The FATHER standing with the assembled VOLUNTEERS calls out to the SEARGENT.

FATHER
Are we ever gonna get this circus rolling?

He is staring hard at the SEARGENT, but shifts his focus to ALLMAN.

FATHER
Or are we gonna stand round yakking all day?

SERGEANT
We’re on the move

The FATHER moves off with the SEARGENT. ALBERT and ALLMAN watch them, taking note of their feet as they kick up dust and destroy any tracks that were left.

ALLMAN
I don’t believe this..

ALBERT stands silent. He has no choice but to accept his orders. ALLMAN reluctantly walks off to join the others

The SERGEANT orders the men into a line. ALBERT who is left standing at the garden fence takes all this activity in. He looks toward the FATHER.

32.   EXT THE BACK PADDOCK DAY

MUSIC:      This Land Is Mine

The VOLUNTEERS form up in a rough semi-circle. The FATHER sensing ALBERT’s gaze, turns his back on him to look out across the paddock. He finishes saddling his horse.

FATHER
This land is mine
All the way to the old fence line
Every break of day
I’m working hard just to make it pay

This land is mine
Yeah I signed on the dotted line
Camp fires on the creek bank
Bank breathing down my neck

They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away from me

The FATHER mounts his horse.

33.   EXT BACK FENCE DAY

Meanwhile ALBERT has been grabbing his swag and now walks off in the other direction.

ALBERT
This land is me
Rock, water, animal, tree
They are my song
My being’s here where I belong

He looks back at the search party.

ALBERT
This land owns me
From generations past to infinity
We’re all but woman and man
You only fear what you don’t understand

34.   EXT VERANDAH DAY

The MOTHER watches both men.

FATHER AND ALBERT
This land is mine
This land is me
This land is mine
This land owns me

ALBERT walks off down the road.

FATHER AND ALBERT
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away
They won’t take it away from me

The TRACKER looks back toward the house and sees the MOTHER at the window looking out at him.

35.   EXT VERANDAH DAY

MUSIC:      This Land Is Mine ends

The MOTHER shuts EMILY’s bedroom window, closes the curtains and sits down on the bed.

END OF EXTRACT

One Night The Moon
Copyright 2001 MusicArtsDance films Pty Ltd
Writers: John Romeril and Rachel Perkins
Director: Rachel Perkins
Composers: Mairead Hannan, Kev Carmody and Paul Kelly
Producers: Aanya Whitehead, Paul Humfress and Kevin Lucas