This paper addresses two recent Aboriginal ghost stories produced by Aboriginal fi lm-makers Tracey Moffatt (beDevil) and Beck Cole (Plains Empty), in order to examine the relationship of these fi lms to a type of spectral rewriting of the Australian nation state. This paper examines the role of spectrality as a revisionist process that exorcizes, but also celebrates, the ghosts that underpin and/or undermine narratives of belonging and place and investigates the dynamic potential of Indigenous fi lm, not so much as a device that eradicates colonial encounters and their postcolonial legacy, but as texts that unsettle and contest, that empower and initiate debate by way of dismantling, or at least diminishing, dominant representations of Indigenous identities.


Peer-reviewed, Aboriginal film-makers, Australia, Tracey Moffatt, Beck Cole, ghost stories, spectrality, rewriting majority narratives


Due to copyright restrictions this article is unavailable for download.

The author's version is availbale for download.

Staff and Students of the University of Notre Dame Australia may access the full text of this article here

This article may be accessed from the publisher here

The Journal of Commonwealth Literature may be accessed from the National Library of Australia here

The Author:

Professor Gerry Turcotte

University Copyright.pdf (130 kB)
University of Notre Dame Australia Copyright Statement


Link to Publisher Version (DOI)