- Documentary Name: Burning
- Director: Eva Orner
- Run Time: 1h 26m
- Year of Release: 2021
- Our Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
It is 9 o clock in the morning and one Australian town is in complete darkness.
The reason is not because of some dark clouds, instead, it is because of the smoke and smog generated by “the most devastating wildfires in Australia’s history”.
Burning is a documentary that focuses on the country which has been plagued by wildfires for the last many years.
Australia is a land of vast plains and is blessed with plenty of natural resources, especially forests and coal. The mining of natural resources and coal has made Australia one of the largest exporters in the world and has delivered many economic benefits to the country over the last many years. However, the same coal is considered to be responsible for global warming, rising temperatures, and becoming the major cause of forest fires.
While wildfires and bushfires in Australia are common occurrences, their ferocity and frequency have increased manifold in the last few years. The documentary Burning takes the viewers through one of the largest bushfires that occurred in Australia.
In the summer of 2019-2020 (December and January), the Australian eastern region experienced a severe bushfire event which is commonly referred to as the Black Summer bushfire. More than 5 million square kilometers of forest land were burnt, thousands of homes were destroyed, millions of animals were killed and thousands of people suffered emotionally and physically.
Interspersed with interviews with fire officers, experts, and personal accounts from affected people, the documentary extensively covers the scale of the tragedy. The discussions give a perspective of the tragedy from the people who were directly involved.
In addition, the actual video footage of the fires and the aftermath of the fire give viewers a definitive account of the ferocity and destruction that happened in those few days. On the flip side, listening to people who were personally grieved and watching Australian native animals such as Koalas and Kangaroos suffer because of the fire is heart-wrenching.
The documentary Burning also touches upon the lackadaisical response from the Australian government of the time. As per the accounts shown in the documentary, experts had indicated to the government about the fire, however, it was disregarded.
The government’s insensitivity toward this incident and climate change, in general, propelled many young people to take to the streets and ask for climate action.
On the positive side, the documentary interviews a businessman who feels the same Australian land can continue to energy exporter, but that can be renewable energy.
Made by Academy and Emmy-award-winning filmmaker Eva Orner, Burning makes a strong case for associating climate change with the increase in forest fires across the globe and the world needs to address the problem collectively. It is also important that people become cognizant of the dangers climate change poses and become better prepared, such that we don’t have to face this again.
The documentary premiered at the 2021 Sydney film festival before it became available on Amazon Prime Video.