Burning is fucking exhausting.
Not because it’s a bad film. It’s a great film. It’s directed by Oscar winner Eva Orner, who knows a thing or two about where to place a camera, and gave us the excellent Chasing Asylum five years back.
Not because it’s not timely: if your brain can penetrate the fog of the pandemic you’ll recall the Black Summer of 2019/2020 saw the skies literally reddened and the streets choked with ash, as roughly 20% of the bushland on Australia’s East Coast went up in flames.
My key memory of that summer was fronting up to the Amazon Prime Christmas party, which for reasons that still baffle me was held at an outdoor venue, and watching flecks of ash drift into my champagne flute. Some real Masque of the Red Death vibes going on there.
No, Burning is exhausting because it’s preaching to the choir. The people who are receptive to its warnings, its political position, and the actual scientific consensus that we are continuing to screw the planet into a cocked hat are already on board. The people we need to convince—our political and economic leaders who are blindly beholden to a moribund fossil fuel industry, and their electoral base—are either not going to spring for a ticket/cue the thing up when it drops on Prime Video, or are going to deride and dismiss the content altogether.