Out of the hundreds of entries in the annual Byron Bay International Film Festival each year, there is always at least one film that really calls to me.
Last year it was This way of Life, a film that still resonates with me a year later - you can read my blog post on that film here.
This year the program stand-out to me is Bimblebox, a documentary by US filmmaker Mike O’Connell.
From the film notes:
"Bimblebox is a peaceful 8000 hectare sanctuary in central-west Queensland. A remnant of semi-arid woodlands, it is home to a rich diversity of birds, reptiles and other animals, including endangered species. Back in 2000, the rapacious land clearing sanctioned by the Queensland government was off the Richter scale. The potential for Bimblebox to face this same fate motivated a group of concerned local individuals to petition for the area to become a Nature Reserve. Paola Cassoni was one of these people....
Tragically, holding the status of ‘Nature Refuge’ does not automatically protect an area from mineral exploration and mining. These activities supersede all other legislation, and are granted right of way over almost all land uses. Lying in the direct path of what will be one of the world’s largest coalmines, Bimblebox is under threat.
"While very clearly exposing the destructiveness of this industry, the film also features solutions and viable alternatives for the future, and the stories from people whose communities and their natural values have been either totally undermined or are currently under threat from coal mining activities puts a ‘real face’ to this issue."
* I know for certain it is next Saturday after nearly heading off to see the film yesterday! Lucky I double-checked the program first. Better to be a week early than a week late, right? ;)