History Bites Back

Aboriginal filmmaker Trisha Morton-Thomas (Destiny Does Alice,
Occupation: Native) teams up again with Comedy Director/Writer,
Craig Anderson (Black Comedy, Occupation: Native), and some of
Australia’s freshest comedic talent (Steven Oliver and Elaine
Crombie) to bite back at negative social media comments and
steer the conversation to look into the historical context of the
fortunes and misfortunes of Aboriginal Australians from social
security, citizenship and equal wages to nuclear bombs and civil

  • Trisha Morton-Thomas
  • Craig Anderson
  • Trisha Morton-Thomas
  • Craig Anderson
  • Bridget May
  • Trisha Morton-Thomas
    Key Cast
  • Steven Oliver
    Key Cast
  • Elaine Crombie
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    54 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 26, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Distribution Information
  • Ronin
    Country: Australia
Director Biography - Trisha Morton-Thomas , Craig Anderson

Born in the Northern Territory, Trisha Morton-Thomas is a writer, producer, director and actor who has worked in film and television for over 25 years. She has a background in teaching, radio broadcasting, journalism and theatre. She is an Aboriginal woman from the Anmaterr People in Central Australia. Trisha has become one of Australia’s most renowned Aboriginal actors, recently starring as Lola in 8MMM Aboriginal Radio (2015), the first Aboriginal narrative comedy series which she also wrote and produced. Trish also appears in the award-winning Redfern Now and Total Control.

From 2004, Trisha worked for CAAMA where she produced, directed and wrote documentaries for Imparja TV, ABC and NITV including Destiny in Alice, Ridin’ Time, Bungalung and Finding Place. In 2007 she joined the newly established National Indigenous Television Services (NITV) as one of the first Aboriginal
Commissioning Editors, eventually working her way up to Senior Commissioning Editor. While at NITV, Trisha oversaw hundreds of television hours including documentaries, dramas, music television and magazine-style formats.

Trisha wrote, directed, produced and presented Occupation: Native for NITV/SBS, which won the Screen Producers of Australia Award for Best Documentary, an ATOM Award and a Capricornia Award (Darwin International Film Festival). Trisha produced The Song Keepers, a feature documentary which premiered at
Melbourne International Film Festival in 2017 and had a strong theatrical release in 2018.

Recent projects include Finke: There and Back, a feature documentary for Madman which was released into cinemas in 2019, and Uluru & the Magician, a feature documentary currently in production. She is also producing Audrey and Me, a feature documentary in production, and MaveriX, a children’s television drama series scheduled for production in 2021 for ABC and Netflix. She is in development on a number of feature drama and television drama projects.

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Director Statement

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 –


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.