A documentary about the culling and commercial exploitation of kangaroos has opened with solid reviews and sold-out premieres in New York and Los Angeles.
"The response has been incredible," Bondi filmmaker Michael McIntyre told Fairfax via phone from LA, where he and co-director Kate McIntyre Clere had attended a premiere screening of Kangaroo: A
Their film, four years in the making, features interviews with the likes of environmental historian Tim Flannery, ethicist Peter Singer and naturalist Terri Irwin, as well as a host of politicians, activists
The Los Angeles Times has called it an "eye-opening investigative documentary" that "suggests the extent of an alarming animal-welfare crisis".
The New York Times says the filmmakers have sounded a wake-up siren "with extra strength".
And the Hollywood Reporter says it is an "eye-opening" and "heartfelt
Americans generally seem stunned to see the way we treat one of our national symbols.
"There's certainly an element of 'oh my goodness we had no idea this was going one'," says McIntyre. "There is this expose effect."
Though he's happy for Kangaroo to be
"We'd seen research that said the kangaroo was the third-most
"Of course we knew a bit about the culling and some of the other issues, but we had no idea about the scale of it. But the more we researched the more it became clear that's what our film was about."
The movie opened in the US ahead of Australia because a festival run last year suggested there was an appetite for it.
But McIntyre says he is braced for a very different response when it makes its home debut on March 15.
"We've learned how polarising the subject is in Australia," he says. "A good way to destroy any dinner party is to bring it up."