DVD Wildness

The story of Australia's greatest wilderness photographers.

Rated G, Duration: 56 Minutes

Film Australia Collection; National Film and Sound Archive; Australia's Living Archive.

Writer/Director: Scott Millwood


Olegas Truchanas and Peter Dombrovskis were two of Australia's greatest wilderness photographers. Their work became synonymous with campaigns to protect Tasmania's natural heritage.

From the 1950s to the 1980s, Olegas and then Peter used photography to galvanise public opinion as  the Hydro Electric Commission cut swathes through the wilderness in the name of progress. Olegas is renowned for his slide presentations which, over 20 years, brought ever-increasing attention to the island's unique landscape. In particular, he captured on film the pink quartz beach and tea-coloured water of Lake Pedder before it was drowned by a fierceley protested hydro-electric scheme.

Ten year later, Peter's magnificent photographs of the Franklin River were used to spearhead the successful national campaign to save it from a similar fate. His photograph of the Franklin's 'Rock Island Bend' became a national icon, establishing him as one of the country's most influential photographers.

Olegas and Peter shared many things, including a bond that was more like that of father and son. Both migrated to Tasmania from Baltic Europe. And both died alone doing what they loved - photographing the wild. They left behind a legacy of extraordinary images - contributing not only to their art, but to an emerging environmental consciousness in Australia.

Wildness brings over 300 Truchanas and Dombrovskis photographs together with archival film and stunning contemporary footage in an epic story of two men whose passion for nature became a crusade to save an environment under threat.


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