Burning Issue: Black Summer film all Australians must see

Climate Council

A STARTLING new documentary about Australia’s devastating Black Summer – available on Amazon Prime Video this Friday – drives home exactly what we have to lose if the Australian Government refuses to urgently cut emissions this decade.

From Academy and Emmy-award winning Australian filmmaker Eva Orner, Burning features Chief Climate Councillor Professor Tim Flannery and Climate Councillor and former Commissioner, Fire and Rescue NSW Greg Mullins.

The film takes a frank and fearless look at the deadly Black Summer bushfires that scorched Australia in 2019-20. More than 450 Australians were killed during Black Summer, either directly by the fires or from the toxic air that covered three of Australia’s major cities for weeks. The fires burnt over 18 million hectares, destroyed 3113 homes and killed 3 billion animals.

Chief Climate Councillor, scientist, author and former Australia of the Year, Professor Tim Flannery, who has just returned from COP26 in Glasgow said: “I implore Prime Minister Scott Morrison to watch this film and listen carefully to the voices of Australians that were holding hoses and experiencing the disaster that was the Black Summer fires first hand.”

The documentary will air in 260 countries. It screened at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, wowed critics at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and was this month awarded the inaugural Sydney Film Festival Sustainable Future Award.

Former Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins, who features in the film, has been fighting fires for 50 years. He battled mega-blazes during Black Summer:

“I’ve never seen fires like it and I hope I never will again. Sadly though, we are going to see more Black Summers – and even worse. Despite the extreme danger we face, the federal government refuses to ramp up emissions cuts this decade or to embrace Australia’s incredible renewable potential,” Mr Mullins said.

“Not long after the flames had settled, the COVID-19 pandemic rolled in and the world moved on. But for survivors, firefighters, business owners and mental health workers, the road to recovery was only just beginning. This documentary brings climate change and the horror of that bushfire season back into the spotlight.”

The hot, dry conditions that fuelled the Black Summer fires will continue to worsen without substantial, concerted action to rapidly phase out coal, oil and gas.

“Climate action is about creating a future where our children and grandchildren can be safe and prosper. That’s what I hope this film brings home for Australians, and all people who vote, as we head towards a federal election where action on climate change must be the top issue,” Mr Mullins added.

View the trailer for Burning HERE. Media may access an advanced screening link via Amazon PR (please contact Climate Council to arrange).


/Public Release.