In the remote deserts of Australia lives an elusive bird called the Night Parrot. It disappeared at the end of the 19th Century. In the course of making the film Night Parrot Stories, the bird miraculously reappeared. The film is set against contemporary Australian landscapes and remnants of the colonial frontier, juxtaposing Linnaean understandings against various other forms of knowledge creation (and loss). Night Parrot Stories was filmed in all the locations where Night Parrots once lived, at the end of the Holocene, when stories of extinction were everywhere.
'The film documents a quest to locate the rare nocturnal desert dwelling bird, and presents a range of ethnographic approaches, while raising questions with respect to our fragmented and incomplete natural history archive, engagement with indigenous communities, and the ethics and aesthetics of representing more-than human environments'
Dr Tom Bristow - ARC Centre for Human Emotions, Melbourne University - March 2016.
About the speaker
Rob has an MA in Documentary from the Australian Film Television and Radio School and a Batchelor of Natural Resource Management from the University of New England. He has made several independent long form documentaries, as well as commission films for NGOs and TV. His film End of the Rainbow won the first appearance award at IDFA in 2007 and went on to screen at many festivals internationally. His latest feature length film, Night Parrot Stories, premiered in Alice Springs on May 5th 2016 and screened at the Sydney Film Festival in 2016. Prior to filmmaking Rob worked for the United Nations in Afghanistan and Cambodia for 11 years (1990 - 2001). He has also worked for the Central Land Council in Alice Springs as an Environmental Officer (1987 - 1990). He has a long standing interest in ethnographic and observational filmmaking which draws together science and social understandings, in ways that are unusual and compelling.
Short title for tweet: Night Parrot Stories - A Special Screening