This story is part David and Goliath and part Enron. It discovers what happens when the system fails and a corporation grows to become so powerful that leading national politicians of all persuasions acknowledge that the real power in Tasmania is not the government but Gunns itself.
The story of Gunns is a parable of corporate greed.
You can, corrupt the system, control the media and seek to persecute those who disagree with you. You can rape the land, exterminate protected species, exploit your workers and you can even poison your neighbours. But the naked pursuit of greed at all costs will, in the end, destroy your public legitimacy and ensure your doom.
Only four years ago, Gunns was a billion-dollar company with investments as diverse as historic properties, wineries, walnuts, eucalypt plantations and hardware stores. However, by the time it called in the administrators it had sold even its Launceston head office and its net assets stood at just $24 million.
This is the shocking and compelling story of a rogue corporation that sort to build a pulp mill at any cost and those that stood up against in a struggle that ultimately cost the company its life.
The film will combine film footage of interviews and landscapes, archival footage, and the extensive photographic record the director has made of the last decade of the Tasmanian forest wars in the manner of Ken Burns’ celebrated documentaries such as The Civil War (1990) and Jazz (2001) to tell the remarkable story of the rise and fall of one of Australia’s most notorious corporations.
The still imagery will be combined with hauntingly beautiful and at times eerily moving images. These will be shot using a variety of techniques such as remote helicopter cameras to produce cinematic tracking shots across ancient old growth rainforests, smoking clearfell logging coups and other iconic land and urban scapes.