433 Days (2021) & Day Zero (2021)
10 minutes / Daniel Schulz & Otis Filley with sound design from Damien Sutton
These two films document the 2019-2021 period during and after the 433 days of zero flows down the Darling-Baaka River. The filmmakers spent three months walking the dry riverbed daily, capturing the last breaths of a river system. They then documented the return of flows to the river and Menindee lake system.
A perfect storm of overextraction, drought and climate change had resulted in a massive local extinction event at Menindee. The Menindee fish kills became international news. Visceral images of masses of dead fish, and weeping grown men holding deceased Murray Cod, populated the news and social media. Although it was effective at creating awareness about the plight of the Darling-Barka, the news cycle soon moved on.
These films take a different approach to the space of ecological disaster. It is about the sustained suffering, and slow death that the people, animals, and ecosystems must live through during these increasingly long and unnatural
drought periods in the Murray-Darling Basin.
The second film, Day Zero, documents the rapid transformation of the landscape with the return of water, and the magic of life returning to the Darling-Baaka and Menindee Lakes.
433 Days (2021)
Day Zero (2021)