A Wonderful Optimistic Environmental Movement: Robert Connolly
"There's this wonderful movement in the environmental movement now around optimism."
So said Director Robert Connolly talking about his new film Blueback.
Responding to a comment by Lisa Miller, Robert said, "Yeah, talking to Tim Winton who wrote the book, there's this wonderful movement in the environmental movement now around optimism, which is if we tell people things are terrible, they won't do anything. But if you can show people that if we change our ways, even a little bit, we can affect change, people do things. And so Eric (Bana) and I wanted to make a film with our wonderful team that was an optimistic, inspirational film about the ocean. Jacques Cousteau had this famous quote, if you can make people love something, they'll care for it, and I hope that the film can show people how amazing our ocean is and as a result, maybe inspire some activism around the issues we're facing."
In an earlier interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robert said, "It’s based on a novella by Tim Winton, which I loved. He’s one of Australia’s greatest authors and the book is what he’s called “a timeless fable for all ages” — and I just love that. Over many years, I had discussed and explored ways to make it as a film. I had a lot of success with my family film Paper Planes (2014), which was a very curious experience for me, because it was after I’d made the war film Balibo (2009). To go and make a family film was very different, but I really enjoyed reaching out to that broader audience. So, I had been kind of looking for another big family film. The synergy for me, I guess, was that I’ve always had a great love of the ocean and a great interest in the challenges that face us in terms of our environment and the natural world. And I’ve been very conscious that the environmental movement has really embraced the idea of activism through optimism. So, a film like Blueback, which tells a really positive story about how our action can impact positively on the environment, was one that really appealed to me — and it felt very timely as well."