2018 / Kate Clere McIntyre and Mick McIntyre / 96 minutes
The secrecy, brutality, corruption, scientific malfeasance, and greed that drive the Australian kangaroo hunt (see preceding page) are depicted in Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story, an award-winning documentary by filmmakers Kate McIntyre Clere and Mick McIntyre. Using archival footage, stunning images of kangaroos in the wild, and gruesome video of their killing, along with interviews with politicians, agency officials, scientists, hunters, ranchers, and kangaroo protection advocates, the film provides a riveting and compelling examination of the history, complexities, and realities behind the all-out assault on the kangaroo.
In Kangaroo, scientific evidence is presented to counter claims that the hunt is well managed and sustainable and to dismiss the perception of kangaroos as overabundant pests. It shows that government officials are, in fact, manufacturing “paper” kangaroos through dubious data extrapolations and population count correction factors in order to maintain the kill quotas. In reality, kangaroo populations are declining and the species range is contracting, with evidence of localized extermination. Such data are ignored by industry apologists, including government scientists, who continue to promote export of kangaroo products—including kangaroo meat contaminated with E. coli and Salmonella.
For those who despise animal cruelty, Kangaroo may be difficult to watch. The film includes images of kangaroos being shot, hunters dismembering their kills and leaving body parts (including heads) in the field to rot, injured kangaroos left to die a prolonged and painful death, joeys ripped from their mother’s pouch and killed by blunt force trauma, and an orphaned joey too weak or young to stand or hop. Nevertheless, the grotesque cruelty of the hunt, as well as its lack of scientific justification, must be exposed if this massive commercial killing of kangaroos is to end.
Kangaroo is not all violence and gore, though, as it depicts the efforts of scientists, politicians, citizens, an aboriginal elder, and landowners who engage in research, collect evidence of the hunt’s barbarity (often risking their own lives), and speak out to expose the realities of the hunt and the industry in order to stop the slaughter.
For more on the film, visit www.kangaroothemovie.com.