Memoirs of a Plague

Robert Nugent, Australia, 2010, color, HDcam, 85'

In 2007, Australian documentary filmmaker Robert Nugent won the IDFA Award for Best First Appearance with End of the Rainbow, an exceptional exploration of prospecting for gold in Guinea, West Africa. He now turns his camera to another challenging topic: the grasshopper. Nugent looks for the wider context: the tension between ecology, fate, civilization and science. Nature will take its course, sometimes with catastrophic consequences for man. Like the plague of grasshoppers in September 2010, the biggest in the history of Australia. Farmers meet for desperate talks on the grasshoppers, which are threatening to destroy their entire harvests. The government attempts to come up with a satisfactory response, but will it work? Who will prove stronger in the end: man or the grasshoppers? And who is really hunting whom? Together with director Nugent, we travel through the Australian landscape. At times, it seems that man is an unwanted intruder here, and the footage shot from the grasshopper hunters' planes delivers some fascinating images. In the meantime, the filmmaker tells us, in literary quotations and in voice-over, how he became fascinated by grasshoppers.


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