September 18, 2021

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TIFF: Rebuilding Amazon’s Bushfire Documentary ‘Burning’ Controversy

2 min read

Amazon’s first feature-length documentary from Australia, 2019-20, has its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival about the devastating ‘Black Summer’ of the Australian bushfire. Political reactions are likely to erupt.

“Burning”, co-produced by Propagate Content and Dirty Films (including Cate Blanchett’s executive producer), is produced and directed by Los Angeles-based Australian filmmaker Eva Orner, whose credits include the politically acclaimed documentary “Chasing Net” and ” 2009 Oscar winner “Taxi on the Dark Side.”

With “Burning,” Orner takes a vague look at Australia’s unprecedented and catastrophic fires that caught the world’s attention at the time. About 59 million acres (25 million hectares) have been burned, 5,900 buildings have been destroyed, 34 people have been killed and Australia’s unique wildlife has been destroyed.

“I was in Australia then and the fire was everywhere. The smoke in Sydney was so thick, my eyes were watering and I could hardly breathe. I knew I had to make a movie about it, ”Orner said Diversity.

Lazy loaded pictures

Amazon Studio

With stunning footage of the 200-foot-high (meters0m) flames and interviews with staff, scientists and victims, Orna’s lack of political will to deal with climate change is noticeable. Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter and a major natural gas exporter.

While the country is on fire, politicians and a vocal Murdoch media (which has since made a U-turn) have denounced and ridiculed climate change activists. Prime Minister Scott Morrison refused to meet with former Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins in early 201, who was interviewed on “Burning”, who warned of the impending deadly bushfire of two.

“Australia Ground Zero for Climate Change. We are a dry flat country and hit hard. We supply the world with fossil fuels and we have to take responsibility, ”Orner said. “I was very clear I wanted it to be a strong political film and focus on what we should do because our time is running out.”

Orner sees “burning” as a “running after asylum” companion, targeting the treatment of Australian asylum seekers. “I am a proud Australian but I am not afraid to criticize. And with climate change and refugees, I think we’re going the wrong way, “he said.

Returning to Australia last October to begin shooting, Orner and his crew were able to navigate various harsh COVID-related state lockdowns to complete the shooting. He also found Blanchett’s help invaluable for the film. “We talked regularly through filming,” Orner said. “His involvement helps to further the cause. We have come together with many of the same issues over the years.”

“This is a timely and globally relevant documentary,” said Erica North, head of the original division of Asia Pacific at Amazon Studios.

From 2019 to 2019, Amazon has pledged $ 150 million ($ 110 million) in Australian productions, launching 1 original series. In 2022 it will launch an original documentary series “Warriors on the Field” and “Kick Like Tyla”, both co-produced with the Australian Football League.

“Burning” will be available on Amazon Prime Video after 2021.

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