What a Way to Go: Life at the End of Empire

Tim Bennett, middle-class white guy, started waking up to the global environmental nightmare in the mid-1980s. But life was so busy with raising kids and pursuing the American dream that he never got around to acting on his concerns. Until now…

Bennett journeys from complacency to consciousness in his feature-length documentary, What a Way To Go: Life at the End of Empire. He reviews his Midwestern roots, ruthlessly examines the stories he was raised with, and then details the grim realities humans now face: escalating climate change, resource shortages, degraded ecosystems, an exploding global population and teetering global economies.

Bennett identifies and calls into question the fundamental assumption that has led to this unprecedented crisis in human history: that humans were destined to dominate the rest of the community of life with the Culture of Empire.

He pushes the dialogue where Al Gore did not go.

Powerful interviews with well-known authors including Daniel Quinn, Derrick Jensen and Richard Heinberg, and noted scientists William Schlesinger and Stuart Pimm, fill in some important pieces. Scathing and humorous use of archival footage is balanced with very human snapshot comments from family and friends.

On Walkabout, Bennett ends with an invitation to join him with courage and consciousness on the unexplored shores of a future not yet written.

Growing Change

Growing Change is a documentary that looks at one of the most exciting experiments in the world to grow a fair and sustainable food system.

In Venezuela, from fishing villages to cacao plantations to urban gardens, a growing social movement is showing what’s possible when communities, not corporations, start to take control of food.

Blowin’ in the Wind

Blowin’ in the Wind examines the secret treaty that allows the US military to train and test its weaponry on Australian soil. It looks at the impact of recycled uranium weapons and the far-reaching physical and moral effects on every Australian. The film’s release has been timely as the government currently moves to approve more uranium mines while arguing the contrary – that by going nuclear we are being both ‘safe’ and ‘green’. Blowin’ In The Wind reveals that Iraqi babies are now being born with major birth defects. Bradbury wonders whether Australians living downwind from the military testing ranges will be next. He argues that we were lied to by the British over the Woomera and Maralinga atomic tests. Can we trust another equally powerful partner in our ‘war on terror’? With a cash budget of just $12,000 Blowin’ In The Wind raises pertinent questions which cannot be ignored by the Australian public. The film shocked, angered and surprised large audiences when shown at the Sydney and Brisbane Film Festivals.

Director’s Statement (David Bradbury)

This is a film that very much wanted to find me. I tried to fend it off, exhausted from making environmental and political films on shoestring budgets that told hard truths to my fellow Australians that they needed to hear but preferred to ignore. In today’s climate of self censorship, and public broadcasters who fear that their political masters in Canberra will still further cut their budgets if they support these sorts of films, fellow filmmaker Peter Scott and I pushed on regardless. With a hard cash budget of $12,000 and a beg, borrow or make do philosophy…and a lot of favours, we’ve pulled together this doco I know you’ll never see on ‘your ABC’. The picture it paints and the consequences for us all if we don’t raise our protest loud and long to this new military alliance with the United States is too devastating to ignore.

The Paddy McGuinness’s, the Gerard Henderson’s and Greg Sheridan’s of this world with their sycophantic attitudes towards their media masters and ruling class elite will have a field day in attempting to put this film down, to write it off as ‘propaganda’, typical anti-American sentiment with no substance. It’s time for all of us to draw a line in the sand, to acknowledge whether we are in fact happy to be the 51st state of America.

More than ever, it’s time for us all to stand up and be counted for the decency and genuine moral values of what I believed as a kid it meant to be ‘a fair dinkum’ Australian. Not a false, jingoistic patriotism that is built on fear, that justifies war crimes in the name of the so-called War on Terror. Rather, I embrace a healthy nationalism that acknowledges who we are as Australians with compassion for the underdog and giving everyone a fair go. In a humble but sincere way, I hope this film made with a lot of heart and commitment can play a small but important role in galvanizing a lot of us to do just that.

Rise Of The Eco Warriors

Rise of the Eco-Warriors is a story of passion and adventure as a group of young people from across the globe leave their known worlds behind and spend 100 days in the jungles of Borneo. They come to confront one of the great global challenges of our time, saving rainforests and orangutans. But their task is enormous and the odds are against them.

DeforestAction, a global schools program, puts out a call for 15 young people to join renowned scientist and reforestation expert, Dr Willie Smits in the jungle for a bold experiment in confronting deforestation. He takes the young Eco-Warriors into the heart of Borneo where they see first-hand the devastation that palm oil expansion is bringing to local communities and wildlife. An orphaned baby orangutan, Jojo, is entrusted into their care, and they embark on a plan to return her and other rescued orangutans to their forest home.

At the end of the first 20 days, the Eco-Warriors form four teams and work with Willie to develop realistic action plans for working with the local communities, restoring rainforest and helping orangutans. But first they must head home to raise awareness and build the support they need to implement their plans.

Five months later, eleven of the Eco-Warriors return to Borneo. The dynamic of the group has changed dramatically as four of their original team are unable to return for personal or career reasons. They also confront the reality that the fundraising and backing they had hoped for has not materialized. Despite these set-backs, they revise their action plans and get to work.