Documentary on Greens icon Bob Brown comes to streaming

Bob Brown's documentary The Giants is on Netflix
Images: Supplied

Documentary film The Giants, centering on longtime climate activist, gay trailblazer and former Greens party leader Bob Brown, is streaming on Netflix in Australia.

Bob Brown was the first openly gay member of the Australian Parliament as well as the first openly gay leader of an Australian political party.

For 50 years, he’s also been a pivotal figure in environmental and human rights activism in Australia.

In 1983, Bob Brown joined blockade protests against the damming of Tasmania’s Franklin River. Police ultimately arrested 1500 people and jailed 600.

Bob was one of them, and spent nineteen days inside Risdon Prison. But a day after his release, he entered the Tasmanian state Parliament as the first Greens MP.

In 1996, he entered the federal Senate, taking his fight for conservation, climate action and human rights to Canberra.

Bob has also campaigned for First Nations rights, LGBTQIA+ rights, refugee rights, and more.

Along the way, he’s been imprisoned, assaulted, threatened, and shot at.

The Giants, from filmmakers Laurence Billiet and Rachel Antony, is a dual portrait of the plight of Tasmania’s rainforests and Bob Brown’s lifelong activism to preserve them.

‘Become active, instead of being depressed’

Bob Brown left politics in 2012, but his activism has continued.

The Bob Brown Foundation’s motto is “Don’t get depressed, get active,” and Bob hopes the new documentary inspires the next generation.

“I hope it gives people a cause to get active about our planet,” Bob said of the film last year.

He warned “instead of putting our foot on the brake,” state and federal political leaders are still “putting their foot on the accelerator of environmental destruction.”

“You just can’t be, in this world, licensing more coal mines, gas fracking, logging [and] burning of forests, [putting] massive tonnages of carbon into the atmosphere and destroying species,” he said.

“They’re adding to the burden of global warming which our kids are going to have to look after.

“If only this film can inspire one or two young people to become active instead of being depressed, it will be worthwhile.

“There’s a new mood in the air of defiance and rebellion and ‘we’re not going to put up with this’… I find it inspiring.”

Bob Brown as a young environmentalist in The Giants documentary
Image: Supplied

Bob Brown pays tribute to partner Paul

In the film, Bob Brown also opens up about his personal life. He said he credits a lot to his longtime partner Paul Thomas, whom he met in the 1980s.

“I know myself well enough to know that having such a marvellous companion is everything to me in where I am in life now,” he said.

“I would not have made it without him. He’s just my great fortune in life. I had great parents but meeting Paul when I did has been everything.

“Without him, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing.”

The Giants is streaming in Australia and New Zealand on Netflix now.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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