Deep in the island continent of Australia, home to less than 10% of the population, is the red center. Vast. Untamed. Where less than 150mm of rain falls per year. Where huge kangaroos and frisky wallabies reign supreme over a sun-parched desert. A last frontier.
The city that rose from this desert, Broken Hill, is now the subject of a fascinating documentary by filmmaker Greg Parker.
In 1883 a boundary rider discovered a line of iron ore so big that it became Australia’s largest export earner for the next 80 years and BHP – Broken Hill Proprietary Limited – became one of the world’s great mining corporations. Broken Hill became a bustling frontier boomtown with a cast of characters from all over the world; Greeks, Italians, Yugoslavs battled against the elements and each other to make their fortune.
The Australian labor movement began in Broken Hill and major advances in child labor laws and the union movement were forged there.
Then the mines closed and Broken Hill died – almost.
Now it has risen again from the desert as a world center for eco tourism, art (world renowned Australian artist Pro Hart is based there) and culture (soprano June Bronhill – who took her stage name ‘Bronhill’ from her birthplace in Broken Hill) and unique flora and fauna as tourists from all over the world flock to this primitive but powerful Mecca of the ancient and the modern.
“The Big Red” is the story of the town and its people. An amusing, challenging, fascinating look at a world apart. A one of a kind TV special.