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  • Locusts: Creatures of the Flood
  • Locusts: Creatures of the Flood

Locusts: Creatures of the Flood

SKU: SG872
    In this film we witness humans' efforts to kill the locust. The battle against the locusts takes place on two continents. In Australia the largest plague ever recorded has hit the agricultural heartlands. In Ethiopia a swarm of locusts has descended on a small subsistence farming community. In both cases the reaction of authorities is the same – they deploy massive amounts of pesticides and resources costing millions of dollars.

    While these efforts are very efficient at killing the locusts, the film's director, himself an old locust killer, questions whether they are worth the environmental and financial costs. The course of the current locust plague in Australia was unchanged, despite the spraying with pesticides of hundreds of thousands of acres. In Africa, the dramatic locust swarm panicked villagers in its path, but caused no damage. In both cases the farmers were sure that their livelihoods were at an end, and the state stepped in and killed as many locusts as they could find.

    The primary weapon against locusts is pesticide, developed from nerve gas used against humans during World War Two. The authorities aim to predict the locusts' breeding and migration, then they set about spraying every locust they can find. In the meantime the locust carries on, living its life according to its natural environmental rhythms.

    Macro cinematography shows the important stages of the life of the locust. We see in detail the anatomy of the locust and hear of how it has evolved into an aviator that can cross oceans. Seen through the eyes of the director as he travels Australia and Ethiopia, this program bears witness to events that are a sign of how our relationship with nature is dominated by ancient fears and preconceptions.

    This study guide is aimed mainly at middle and upper secondary school levels, and has relevance to Biological Sciences, Environmental Studies, English, Media and Film Studies, SOSE/HSIE and Politics.

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