Controversial Kangaroo doco opens in Australia tomorrow
FILM-makers Michael and Kate McIntyre are about to premiere their latest film in Australia on March 13, but it already is one of the most talked-about films of the year.
Kangaroo: A Love - Hate Story (2017) premiered recently in the USA and it has the kangaroo industry fuming: the film shows the practices used in kangaroo culling using shocking footage.
Speaking from Sydney, Michael 'Mick' McIntyre reflected on the controversy around the film, ahead of the promotional tour that will bring him to Northern NSW and Queensland.
What prompted you to make this film?
We were asked at a film market whether we had a good Australian theme to make for our next documentary, and we thought that a film about kangaroos was a good international idea, as we found out that kangaroos were the third most recognisable icons in the word next to the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffell Tower.
We were also surprised to see that there was no film done about it.
Being an Australian I knew there were issues and different views around culling.
So this doco did not start by a call of action from animal activists?
No, it was someone al Cannes who asked us.
As a documentarist, we have to come up with something new, and when we started to work in this film, we uncovered the issues that we portrait in the film.
Do you think Kangaroo culling is something Australians know it happens but we don't want to see it or hear about it?
I think it's a combination: we don't like to volunteer to look at ugly stuff, but also, as an Australian, I thought I was informed but then I realised I wasn't. I didn't know enough, so we want to educate people and we went to great lengths to show both sides of the discussion - we spoke to farmers, shooters, government and activists, but I think there is a certain turning a blind eye to this issue in Australia.
What do you think of the reaction around the film so far in Australia?
(The film) has already started to cause a reaction. As film makers we wanted to create a reaction, and we wanted to create a discussion around this issue.
As Australians, we are concerned about what we have uncovered.
We urge people to see it, because we want to understand how we got to this stage.
I can't anticipate how people are going to react here.
I think there will be a lot of opinions, and what Kate and I hope is that we can have a mature discussion about it, rather than the yelling that seems to go on when you talk about this issue in Australia.
- Kangaroo: A Love - Hate Story screens at the Brunswick Picture House, Brunswick Head, on Wednesday, March 21, 7pm and Sunday, March 25, 5pm. The March 21 screening will include a live Q&A with the film-makers.