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Black Summer - Documentary Review (Melbourne Documentary Film Festival 2021)

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by Janelle (subscribe)
I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Event: -
Personal Experiences Of A Traumatic Time
Documentary, film, environment, review, online, educational, nature
Black Summer (image FilmFreeway.com)


The Melbourne Documentary Film Festival (MDFF) has been rescheduled a couple of times due to COVID-19 restrictions and the documentaries are available via online streaming during October 2021. Black Summer is a documentary about the 2019-2020 bushfires that devastated large swathes of the Australian landscape affecting the lives of many. It is a powerful story that has been delivered with great sensitivity by debut director Hagyung Koo. Living in Australia on a working holiday visa videographer/photographer, Hagyung felt compelled to help out the devastated communities and volunteered with BlazeAid.

Documentary, review, film festival, nature, environment, fire, fauna, drama, tragedy, Australia
A high price (image FilmFreeway.com)


The 73-minute long documentary resulted from her interactions with people whose lives were impacted by the fire. Although having diverse backgrounds and different experiences they all agreed on the negative impact of current forestry practice on climate change and the need for change. They are not afraid to speak their mind and one can see that they are not prepared to give up on the land that they love.

Environment, documentary, fire, Australia, review, film festival, nature, drama
Beauty in the devastation (image FilmFreeway.com)


Although dealing with trauma, the film is ultimately uplifting due to the sensitive and empathetic way the director treated the subject. It is comforting to know that there are people who care and are willing to make a stand. Interviews with the affected are interspersed with file footage, sobering statements and statistics as well as some beautiful scenes of the landscape and fauna.

Black Summer is a short but powerful film that gives one insight into the impact of man and government decisions on the fragile environment of Australia.
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Why? To gain insight regarding the fires of 2019-2020
When: Whenever you wish during October
Phone: mailto:info@mdff.org.au
Where: Stream on your device
Cost: From $15
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