THE GIANTS explores the intertwined fates of trees and humans in this cinematic portrait of environmental folk hero and gay icon Bob Brown who took green politics to the centre of power.
From a seedling to forest elder THE GIANTS interweaves Bob’s story with the life cycle of the ancient trees he is fighting for.
Drawing on Bob’s lifetime of activism, from the Franklin to the Tarkine, THE GIANTS ignites an urgent conversation about the right of the Forest to exist and challenges the audience to write the next chapter.
One of the most recognised figures in Australian politics, Dr Bob Brown has had a profound influence on the Australian cultural and political landscape. Like Greta Thunberg, his activism began with a few simple, lone acts of protests that helped create a movement.
He went direct from a Risdon prison cell to the Tasmanian Parliament. He has fought to save Tasmania’s last wild river, the Franklin, Tasmania’s wilderness, and to stop the Adani coal mine.
He’s campaigned for indigenous rights, LGBT rights, refugee rights, gun control, political accountability, and against the Murdoch empire. Along the way he’s been imprisoned, assaulted, threatened, and shot at.
At the heart of THE GIANTS is an intimate portrait of Bob Brown as an activist – a poetic and cinematic exploration of the motivations that drove a young doctor to relentlessly campaign of behalf of the Australian wilderness and the impact his actions have had on Australia today.
The hidden life of the forest is brought to life by cameras rigged high in the tree canopy, immersive point cloud animation generated from 3D tree scans, and thought-provoking insights by the likes of David Suzuki and Merlin Sheldrake.
Brought to you by the team that made FREEMAN – the most watched documentary of 2020 on Australian TV – THE GIANTS aims to inspire us to save the ancient forests that sustain us.
“THE GIANTS documentary is an attempt to create something beautiful out of the ashes of the 2020 bushfires that decimated Australia’s ancient native forests and the ecosystems within them,” said Co-Directors, Rachel Antony and Laurence Billiet.
“We want this film to speak for the trees. We were inspired by Peter Dombrovskis’ iconic photograph of Rock Island Bend on the Franklin River that helped mobilise Australians into voting to save the river.
“We want the audience to enter “tree world” so they see trees as active, living beings, and show some of the invisible processes that take place in forest communities,” they said.
Image: Bob Brown at Liffey (The Giants, 2023)