Beyond the Burning: voices from the East Gippsland fires
New Year’s Eve, 2019. The sky turns bright red in Mallacoota, East Gippsland, as a monstrous fire tears towards the town. Through mobile phone footage and interviews, bushfire survivors explain what it felt like to be there and the impact on local wildlife.
Afterwards, we see the scorched remains of a forest through the eyes of a renowned nature photographer. An ecologist revisits her favourite temperate rainforest – normally too wet to burn – and explains what’s being lost as a hotter climate dries out the bush.
In other parts of the ravaged landscape, wildlife carers offer shelter to injured animals, and a beekeeper explains how destructive logging practices have contributed to the frequency and intensity of the recent fires.
From this tragedy emerge local solutions. Traditional Owners survey the regenerating bush for totem species, conduct cultural burns and begin the long process of taking back management of the land. And renewable energy companies install battery and solar systems to make remote communities more resilient to future climate disasters, accelerating the shift from coal and gas to clean energy.
Told in the authentic voices of bushfire survivors, Beyond the Burning takes us through the tragedy of the 2019/20 Australian fires and out the other side, towards a vision of a better future.