History Bites Back is the antidote to the boring, faceless, and overly sincere docos that often populate Indigenous issues. It’s comical, self-aware, and not afraid to launch a rocket into taboo issues.
Our continent has over a hundred thousand years of black history but when the whitefellas began to build their country on top of Aboriginal mob’s countries, they believed that the Aboriginal population would die out. Luckily they were wrong, but ever since then the whitefellas haven’t really known what to do with the blackfellas and the blackfellas haven’t been able to get rid of the whitefellas..
…..and now there’s other fellas, biggest mob of fellas from all over the world sharing this place called Australia. Still, our schools concentrate on the last 250 odd years of colonisation and most of that through a white colonial lens. So, in this day of modern technology, unlimited information and the World Wide Web, Aboriginal people still put up with a boatload of ignorance and misconceptions from our fellow Australians. From the creators of 8MMM Aboriginal Radio and Occupation: Native and continuing in the tradition of films like We Don’t Need a
Map to tackle the hard issues with comedy and humour History Bites Back is a one hour, presenter-led documentary designed for a modern audience to be segmented into bite sized episodes for additional on-line streaming options.
History Bites Back evolved and eventuated at an incredibly difficult time in my life. Development and Filming was particularly painful and heart wrenching for me. Two nephews suicided while we were still writing. I watched my aunt pass away days before we commenced filming, then on the first day of principle photography, I learnt my sister had terminal cancer and was in palliative care and I was also helping my cousin organise her mother’s funeral between scenes and yet it was ‘normal’ to me and most of the Indigenous cast and crew on this doco. I felt the injustice of this ‘normal’ and it is reflected in the tone of History Bites Back.
In essence I was wrung out and worn thin by what was essentially a decade long, endless waves of loss and grieving in my family as well as feeling hampered by appeasing ‘Australian Sensitivities’ in representing authentic Indigenous voices and experiences on screen. I felt disheartened, disillusioned and deeply aggrieved by this country and its long tradition of presenting non-sense and non-truths about Australia’s first peoples and our history – In traditional media and now especially in online Social Media.
Ignoring the well-rehearsed, worn and generational put downs by clueless Australians with no understanding of history and its social impact on Aboriginals, is the rational thing to do - But I’m only human and often the strain of the constant, ongoing and unjust vilification of Indigenous peoples, barbs painfully deep. Non-deeper than the annual –
THE WORST DAY OF ALL…
Historically commemorated as the national ‘Day Of Mourning’ by Aboriginal peoples since 1938 then, eighty years later officially adopted federally as ‘Australia Day’ in 1994 - January 26th has become an ugly and violent social media frenzy of historical inaccuracies and racist rhetoric’s. On this day, more than every other day, Australia’s Indigenous people are assaulted by a tsunami of baseless, factually inaccurate, on-line racial vilification that wears on both mental and emotional well-being of Aboriginal people of all ages.
HISTORY BITES BACK is a reply to the historical myths and negative Social media stereotyping of a unique Australian minority; of which me and my family are a part of.
TRISHA MORTON - THOMAS
DIRECTOR, WRITER, PRESENTOR