The Giants – a review

This is a wonderful, inspiring film, well worth making an effort to seek out.

The Giants is currently showing at the Dendy Newtown, a cinema at Avalon, and at selected Palace cinemas.

The Giants are the forests but also Bob Brown himself. His life from earliest childhood to today, with sometimes dramatic footage of all the major campaigns, right up to the current campaign to save the Tarkine from logging and dumping of waste from a Chinese-owned mine (cheaper than putting it back into the mine), including his parliamentary career in Tasmania and Canberra and personal life.

It was a great history lesson of the environmental movement as well.

Those of you old enough to remember some of these campaigns may recognise people they know.

It brought back memories of manning an electoral booth at the old church at the corner of Mowbray Road and Pacific Highway at the historic federal election in 1983 when the fate of the Franklin was on the line. Milo Dunphy from TEC was standing for the Federal Upper House and the famous Rock Island Bend photo by Peter Dombrovskis was on all the corflutes (did they have corflutes back then?). Bob Hawke won the election and the Franklin was saved.

Interspersed with this was informative botanical commentary from all the top botanists, ecologists, mycologists and environmentalists such as David Suzuki, while showing stunning forest footage.

The bonus for last night’s showing (on 8 May 2023) was his chat afterwards with Wendy Harmer, followed by a short Q&A.

Some of Bob’s comments:

  • The Franklin campaign and others would never have been won had the current punitive laws against environmental protest in NSW and Victoria been in place.
  • Bob was very critical of Tanya Plibersek’s concept of a Green Wall Street.
  • He was also critical of Penny Sharpe, NSW Environment Minister, who ran on a platform of a Great Koala  National Park, but is now saying it will be created in their first term of government, not immediately. Meanwhile, the forests where these koalas still survive are being logged.
  • He stated native forest logging is excluded from the EPBC Act (due for review). This is something WEPA needs to raise with Kylie.

The Tasmanian government is trying its hardest to criminalise the Bob Brown Foundation, threatening its charitable status as well, which would have a devastating affect on donations.

There weren’t many dry eyes in the house and Bob got two standing ovations.

On the way out patrons were given cards from the BOB BROWN FOUNDATION ( promoting a nationwide campaign, FIGHT for FORESTS, 17-19 August 2023. Three days of action are planned – Thursday 17 August, Forest Actions; Friday 18 August, MP Office Actions; Saturday 18 August, Nationwide Rallies.

Don’t miss this film.

Gay Spies
Vice-President, WEPA

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