The Giants

Rebecca Varidel
8th Apr 2023

"There is nothing a small group of people can't do when the idea they are espousing's time has come."

- Bob Brown

The King of The Gums, Eucalyptus Regnans are rooted in Australian soil we're told by a yet to be seen Bob Brown, straight after the credits, as the camera slowly and seemingly endlessly pans up one of The Giants.

There is comfort in the gentle reassurance of that steady voice, familiar to most Australians.

"Can you imagine Australia without Bob Brown?" asks scientist and broadcaster David Suzuki.

Then, early footage of the need to fight has Bob Brown declaring that they are trying to save the last 13% of these trees, of the Tasmanian Wilderness.

Our hand is held as we are carefully guided by Australian scientists as to why large old trees are critical in the water cycle and therefore to human survival.

"And the question is, when you see something wrong happening, do you let it pass by?" we are asked pensively by Bob Brown.

This is a quietly spoken story of strength, courage, activism, social injustice and change. In The Giants the publicly documented life of Bob Brown is beautifully interwoven with commentary from friends and family, his partner and twin sister, Australian LGBT+ history, Aboriginal wisdom of Country, environmental issues, environmental politics, Australian political history and scientific information on trees, fungi, and the community of the forest.

"I was very shy. I wasn't very good on a stage before a microphone. Then it slowly dawned on my self conscious self, I wasn't there for myself, I was speaking for the river."

Whatever your knowledge of rivers, trees, forests and the environment, whatever your existing alliances and convictions, you will be moved by the magnitude of this movie making. 

The documentary film The Giants is stunningly beautiful in its landscapes, softly persuasive in its portrayal, and historically informative through its timeline. This is a film all Australians, actually even the whole world, must see.

"You can't go to the shop and just get the forest in a flatpack and then reassemble it. The more you look at that forest, the more you understand, it is really complex. There are not just the trees, the shrubs, the large animals, there are thousands of invertebrates and fungi, all interconnected in that forest, each is relying on the other. So in attempting to recreate that forest, we just can't do it." - Dr. Tom May

In cinemas 20 April, 2023. Madman Films, directed by Laurence Billiet and Rachel Antony.