Wild Things: A Year on the Frontline of Environmental Activism is an upcoming 90-minute documentary that follows a new generation of environmental activists who are moving against forces more powerful than themselves and saying, ‘Enough’.
Dr Bob Brown appears in the documentary. He recounts his experience sailing down the Franklin River with Paul Smith in 1976.
When he reached the end of the Franklin and turned into the Gordon, he could hear jackhammers and blasting. It dawned on him in this moment that everything he had just seen was going to go under in a dam.
“It was the sound of Lake Pedder recurring in the Franklin and Gordon Rivers,” Dr Brown said.
“It was awful.”
A film of his Franklin River trip was subsequently broadcast on Tasmania’s only commercial TV station at the time. The TattsLotto draw was shown in the middle of it, so almost every Tasmanian was watching.
An opinion poll was done afterwards, and it showed that 55% of people were opposed to the dam being constructed.
“It was terrific,” Dr Brown said.
In 1983, the High Court of Australia ruled that the dam’s construction should end. Plans to build it have never been revived.
Sally Ingleton of 360 Degree Films directed Wild Things.
“I started working on it in 2016,” she said.
“I developed the idea and raised the finances for about a year. Then the project got parked for a while. I picked it back up again in the middle of 2018 and worked on it non-stop until it was done.
“So, all up, it’s been four years in the making!”
Ingleton hopes that when people watch Wild Things, they will by inspired by the activists in it. She also hopes the documentary will encourage people to try and make a difference.
“If this film doesn’t enrage and inspire you in equal measure, then you need a new heart. ‘Wild Things’ is an insider’s look at the strength, passion and impact of modern activism, with a heartfelt nod to the generations that led the way and pioneered environmental campaigning in Australia. Faced with the prospect of climate catastrophe and ecological collapse, action is always the antidote to despair. This film shows how everyday people are stepping up to defend their community, their land, and the planet.” – Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth Australia