Brutality overrides everything else in “Kangaroo: A Love-Hate Story” — views of beautiful landscapes are hard to enjoy after seeing wild animals, including their young, maimed and slaughtered. But the filmmakers are determined to sound a wake-up siren, and they blast it here with extra strength.
The documentary, directed by Mick McIntyre and Kate McIntyre Clere, begins with a look at the kangaroo and its place in Australian culture: It’s both a widely used mascot and, to some, a hallowed creature.
But the animal is considered a pest by farmers and ranchers, and a profit source by pet-food companies and leather processors. Meat exporters are rushing to build a market for human consumption of this marsupial in China and Russia. The filmmakers scrutinize processing plants, where carcasses are butchered by the trailer-load, and deride the Australian government, which they suggest is mismanaging the populations.
“Millions of kangaroos are slaughtered every year in Australia to provide meat for cats and dogs, and also for humans,” in what is the largest terrestrial wildlife killing anywhere on earth, one interviewee says.