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Published on February 21st, 2013 | by Cynthia Shahan

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"The Hunter" — A Breathtaking Transformation, In Pursuit Of The Last Tasmanian Tiger (Environmental Film Festival Series)

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February 21st, 2013 by

Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine)

Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine)

Every one of us is on a learning curve capable of transformation.

Every one of us chooses a path, or the path takes us. We grow attached to our efforts, ideas, the commitment to our beliefs — the environmentalist who concerns himself with saving the trees; the logger, happy to have the only real work around so he can feed his family; the scientist, gathering plants, studying in the field; the mother, raising her children on dewdrops, open doors, and music in trees; and the hunter, a solitary mercenary. He is after the Tasmanian tiger, the last on earth. Brought in to the forest under the guise of university work, his intent is the skin, blood, and body parts of the tiger for an immense sum of money from a cutthroat biotech (cloning) company. Every one of us is on a learning curve, capable of transformation.

William Dafoe’s character, Martin the hunter, is a man with physical prowess in composition — like a dagger’s tip. His presence is dynamically complex with a voice that gently, slowly, engages one with thoughtful, well-chosen words. His eyes hold and ground the person he considers in a steady gaze that is shiftless and observant.  As a hunter in his pursuit of this last tiger, he remains apart from others. He is cloaked in singularity. He becomes the pivot point of a power struggle between loggers, trying to feed their families; ‘greenies’, saving the land; and the remains of a beautiful, intellectual bohemian family that lost their leader and remain wandering around the naturalistic ideals he left behind — sharing baths to conserve water, chopping wood, and inhabiting the hills of Tasmania in fragile waking dreams and sometimes play.

Here’s a preview of The Hunter, which was directed by Daniel Nettheim:


The wilderness of the film is so vivid, expansive, and beautiful that that’s alone enough reason to see this film. Watching the film, the viewer also experiences a transformation, leaving judgments behind, as one becomes enmeshed in Dafoe’s character’s transformational process on the hunt — even more of a reason to see this film. He leads us into the wilderness, words such as right and wrong falling out and all around on the leaves of the forest. The glimpses and images of the lonely, last of her kind Tasmania tiger is more reason to see this film.

Each year, the Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival revives viewers with a week of stunningly beautiful and thought-provoking films. The whole festival creates a wave of energy which renews understanding. With the experience, one flows into a rounder, higher vibration. Thanks to Catherine Griggs and Nathan Andersen who always choose fresh, empowering, and breathtaking films.

Image Credit: Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) by Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office’s

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About the Author

is an Organic Farmer, Classical Homeopath, Art Teacher, Creative Writer, Anthropologist, Natural Medicine Activist, Journalist, and mother of four unconditionally loving spirits, teachers, and environmentally conscious beings who have lit the way for me for decades.



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