Year of production2013
Broadcast and production partnersABC/SVT/Funded by Screen Australia and Film Victoria
Every night around Australia, native possums scamper across city rooftops in an endless quest for food and shelter.
Forced out of their bush habitats by encroaching development, these mischievous marsupials swarm into cities where their raucous noise and destructive appetites bring them few friends. They live in our roofs, pillage our fruit trees, plunder our flowers and pee on our paths.
And when possums and people fight for real estate it’s war!
Residents repel the invaders using stinking sprays, electronic zappers and sonic blasters. When all else fails, they call in the professionals; possum removal is booming as a multi-million-dollar industry.
An intimate and irresistible story, the one-hour documentary POSSUM WARS lifts the lid on the private world of Australia’s most unwanted marsupial and its battle to survive in the big city.
We meet Mumsy, the 14-year-old matriarch of Melbourne’s Curtain Square, and her growing brood, including new joey, Buster, and elder daughter Scamp, who is forced to search for a new home beyond the safety of the park. For years the ancient elms have been Mumsy’s refuge in a predatory world of cats and dogs, cars, people and power lines. But her urban life is about to become tougher.
Angry residents argue the 60 possum residents of Curtain Square are in plague proportions and their voracious appetites are killing the park’s historic trees. Killing them or moving them is illegal so the local Council is voting to implant them with contraceptives.
It’s a controversial decision that’s divided the community, drawn media scrutiny and infuriated animal activists who will do anything – including break the law – to save them.
WinnerHuman & Animal Story Encouragement Award, Japan Wildlife Film Festival 2015