THERE’S a glint of missionary zeal in the eyes of Canberra International Film Festival director Andrew Pike when he talks about cinema. That’s a description he is proud to own. For not only is Pike […]
TO prepare readers for this unabashed proselytising for our Australian national animal, I quote from the Internet Movie Database: “… groundbreaking film reveals the truth surrounding Australia’s love-hate relationship with its beloved icon… unpacks a national paradigm where the relationship with kangaroos is examined.”
The authorship of that puffery is not stated so its claim to “reveal the truth” cannot be tested for bias. Embedded in the middle of the quote is the following observation:
“The kangaroo ‘image’ is proudly used by top companies, sports teams and tourist souvenirs, yet as they hop across the vast continent many consider them pests to be shot and sold for profit.”
Clearly, filmmakers Kate McIntyre Clere and Michael McIntyre support the notion that kangaroos are victims of commercial depredations for which Australians should be ashamed.
The film pulls no punches in depicting the aftermath of roo shooting for gain. It blames our colonial forebears for bringing hard-footed livestock to usurp roos’ status as our primary source of animal protein. It interviews well-known Australians and less-well-known foreigners, most of whom deplore killing roos for profit.
The information that the film provides to help us form our opinions is biased in the roos’ favour. But many folk, including me and the friend who runs livestock on her property and has just knocked on our door, have two opinions. Roos are attractive animals. Roos are an economic pest. It’s an insoluble quandary.