The 2019-2020 Australian bushfires claimed many victims: 19.4 million hectares of land across Australia, leading to tragic loss of 35 human lives from fires themselves, and over a billion animal deaths. The equivalent of 35 million football fields of bushland, farmland, and towns were scorched. The fallout from the devastation the fires caused was astronomical, as is the task to rebuild. For many, the bushfires symbolised far more than just a particularly bad dry season across the country, and as they claimed lives and hectares upon hectares of land, endangering species in its wake, the world woke up to the ways in which climate change has and will eventually affect us all, with the bushfires being the angry, frantic red flag that we can no longer ignore.
For Photographer and Filmmaker Cybele Malinowski, watching the devastation unfold from the safety of Sydney without taking action was not an option she was interested in. “There was some anger, it was overwhelming. But through all the anger and pain there was a yearning for a better world. It was hard to talk about hope. They have just gone through hell, but these people, it was commendable that they could still find hope.” Malinowski explains after teaming up with Greenpeace and production company Collider to travel south of Sydney at the tail end of summer, once the fires had ravaged the majority of the south coast of Australia to document the aftermath and interview individuals affected by the fires. Finding their strength to rebuild and support their communities through it all overwhelming.
Now, as the world has gone quiet to face the COVID-19 pandemic, the bushfires that threatened so many feels like a distant memory. Today, on earth day, Climate Changed serves as a reminder that this is not the only global crisis we are facing. Our land is still recovering, people are still without homes, and the climate emergency continues to threaten us. " The world has come to a halt. This is our moment to lean into change and to beckon a new age of thinking and action. This film is here to ask people to reflect on the decisions we make and the way we live our lives." Malinowski explains.
Watch the full film, below.