By now, it’s pretty obvious that all is not well in our oceans.
The recent release of Netflix’s Seaspiracy has made that abundantly clear. But while Seaspiracy tackles the way that humans harm marine life, amidst alarming global corruption, Paradise Lost hones in on the destruction of waterways in a region that has largely gone unnoticed: Tasmania, Australia.
Award-winning filmmaker Justin Kurzel, renowned for his breakout film Snowtown – based on the infamous snowtown barrels murders in and around Adelaide in the 1990s – as well as the mesmerising 2015 adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, has spent the past year working with up-and-coming filmmaker Conor Castles-Lynch, and Man Booker Prize winning author Richard Flanagan, on a deeply personal and harrowing account of the grotesque practices employed by the Tasmanian salmon industry.
The documentary film Paradise Lost has been published in tandem with Flanagan’s latest book Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry. Together, they offer an alarming insight into the devastating environmental impact salmon farms are having on Tasmania’s once pristine waters, world heritage areas, and public health.
It’s a tragic, no-holds-barred account of an industry’s insatiable demand for profit at all costs, and the monstrous power that it holds over government processes. Which is why it’s inspiring to see individuals such as Kurzel, Flanagan and Castles-Lynch, alongside the many experts and local people featured in the film, who are willing to put their careers on the line to protect what’s right: the environment and their livelihoods.
With Globe and Dion Agius’ imminent new film Dark Hollow set for release in the upcoming weeks, a project generating support for the future of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with Dion pledging a minimum of $15,000 (AUD) to the Bob Brown Foundation, it’s clear that Tasmanians have had enough.
The destruction that mankind has wrought on our planet is indisputable, and we applaud all those working to highlight and fight the systems of greed that perpetuate the idea that the natural world is nothing more than a commodity for our exploitation.
You can read an excerpt from Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry via The Monthly here and if you wish to know more, you can purchase Richard Flanagan’s book published by Penguin Random House Australia, here.