Battleground Melbourne depicts city's fall into tyranny under Dan Andrews

Melbourne documentary maker Topher Field's latest film shows how the 'World's Most Liveable City' descended into madness

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The tragic story of medical tyranny – upheld by a police force intended to protect the people of Victoria – has been put together by documentary maker Topher Field.

Battleground Melbourne is a harrowing watch, not least because Topher himself was arrested by Victoria Police.

The documentary reveals that Covid was not just a virus, it became a political cataclysm unleashed on Victoria.

It was Covid Zero at any price – and in total secrecy,” said Topher Field. “We couldn’t see the science, the human rights assessments, or the exit strategy. We get to Covid Zero and then what? Lock out the world forever?


Victoria, under the direction of Premier Daniel Andrews, eventually became the most locked-down city on Earth. Temporary health orders to ‘flatten the curve’ evolved into permanent and severe infringements on civil liberty that culminated in major protests. In the end, the premier crowned himself a dictator despite protests from the legal community.

Topher Field’s documentary brings together voices from all over the community to put the pandemic in perspective.

I want to say to the people of Victoria that I’m sorry. I’m sorry I didn’t do something sooner. I swore to protect you and I failed. I’m trying my best to make up for that. I’m prepared to give my life in pursuit of that forgiveness,” said ex-police officer Craig Backman opening the documentary.

It is the story of how the world’s most livable city turned terror units on its own people.

Topher brings together prominent figures of the last two years, including political figures, health workers, journalists, residents, and business owners. More than that, the documentary is a chance to see the Covid story play out in all its insanity – the slippery slope of escalating health orders and the political system that upholds them.

Melbourne was home. Melbourne was where I’d grown up. Melbourne was the city that I’ve always loved,” said Rebel News reporter Avi Yemini. “It ticked every single box – until Covid.”

Most of Victoria was on board with drastic health measures in the beginning of the pandemic. Short, temporary restrictions to ‘flatten the curve’ were accepted buy time to protect the hospital system – a promise that was never delivered. The documentary shows as two weeks turned into Daniel Andrews and his Covid Zero policy. This spiralled into overt public censorship and a regime of press propaganda.

The first red flag for me was the moment the state of emergency was declared,” added Avi Yemini.

I was one of the people who pushed for an early lockdown – like, four-week lockdown in March or April (of 2020),” said Jerkuei ‘Jerry’ Anyoun – CFMEU member and community organiser. “As time goes, the changing narrative from Daniel Andrews – the censorship about people not discussing the effect of the lockdown – I came to have a different view of Daniel Andrews.

Is the story of Victoria one of corruption, power, or hope? The rise of Freedom movements and the barbarity of which they were oppressed leaves Topher Fields exploring the battleground that is Victoria.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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