Moana: The Rising of the Sea (2014), written and directed by Vilsoni Hereniko (UHM Academy for Creative Media) with the European Consortium for Pacific Studies and Oceania Centre for Arts, Culture, and Pacific Studies at the University of the South Pacific (USP) explores the challenges related to climate change in the Pacific Islands. The film’s music, dance, and drama focus on the human dimensions of climate change: loss of culture, indigenous knowledge, and human lives. Moana premiered at UHM Richardson School of Law on 28 February. The live performance on which the film is based premiered in December 2013 at USP in Fiji, and Moana has now also been screened at Bonhams in New York. The DVD will be available in October 2014; for additional information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moving Images from the 10th FIFO (Festival International du film documentaire océanien)
The 10th FIFO (Festival international du film documentaire océanien), in Tahiti, 11-17 February 2013, showcased a wide range of films, including the following award winners:
Films in competition
Allan Baldwin in Frame (2011, 52 minutes, directed by Tearepa Kahi)
In the 1960s, a young photographer, Allan Baldwin, travels across Aotearoa. His camera captures the magical faces of elderly people, especially kuia, mamas full of wisdom whose chins bear the Māori tattoo, the mau moko. An historical account and remembrance, this documentary is a tribute to the now-disappeared elders. Interviews with their descendants convey a great deal of emotion and Allan Baldwin presents the treasure formed by his collection.
Aux enfants de la bombe (2012, 52 minutes, directed by Christine Bonnet and Jean-Philippe Desbordes)
In 1960, Bernard Ista was an engineer working for the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) of Papeete. From 1960 to 1995, he filmed all nuclear tests from Moruroa and Fangataufa and wrote a daily account of these 35 years before dying from cancer in 1998. His testimony recounts the adventure of the French atomic bomb and pays tribute to the 150,000 soldiers and civilians who participated. Nearly 30% of them are now suffering from serious diseases.
Canning Paradise (2012, 90 minutes, directed by Olivier Pollet) After decades of overfishing, the global tuna industry has now invaded the waters of Papua New Guinea. In the 1950s, this industry fished 400,000 tons of tuna a year; this number is now close to 4 million. And it comes at a high human cost, demonstrating the full impact of globalization.
Coniston (2011, 57 minutes, directed by Jeni McMahon) The documentary tells the story of the last massacre of Aborigines in Australia. Eighty-five years have passed since this painful episode in central Australia. This film shows how a mass killing of Aboriginal communities in Coniston was triggered. For the first time it explains the account of facts from the perspective of the victims.
Et vogue… aux Australes (2012, 52 minutes, directed by Gil Busseuil) The film pays tribute to the ship and crew of the Tuhaa Pae II, a ship that served the Austral Islands for 32 years until it stopped its trips in late 2012. This documentary combines archival footage, interviews, and narration to reflect on the history of the boat and its influence on the community it served.
La fabuleuse histoire de la tête Maori du Museum de Rouen (2011, 52 minutes, directed by Phillippe Tourancheau) This story summarizes the philosophy of the relationships between the West and indigenous people in the 19th century, in the darkest times of colonization. It highlights the difficult question concerning human remains preserved in museums and their possible restitution. It examines the determination of a museum director who envisions the return of a Māori head to its country of origin through five years of administrative political fighting between Paris and the provinces. That’s how a journalistic investigation leads to serious moral reflection, while simultaneously traveling around the world.
La Monique, une blessure Calédonienne (2012, 87 minutes, directed by Vincent Perazio) Discover the mystery of the disappearance of the ship Monique on the night of 3 July 1953 between the islands Maré and Grande Terre in New Caledonia, with 108 passengers on board, but also the emotional expression of collective pain and the uncovering of a complex colonial society.
La valse des continents: Océanic, terre du Pacifique (2012, 43 minutes, directed by Christopher Hooke, Yanick Rose) The history of Earth can be told through the tectonic shifts sustained by Oceania. Its rocks and reliefs narrate the first forms of life, their destruction or transformation. From the appearance of mountains to the powerful cataclysms, scientists inform us that in the Pacific area there is old stabilized land as well as volcanoes that are less so, risking an uncertain future in the shifting of continents and the movements of their “last waltz.”
Les forcats du Pacifique (2012, 52 minutes, directed by Xavier-Marie Bonnot) The director of this historical documentary describes, without compromise, the past of an overseas territory, New Caledonia, and its penal colony, with its 2,000 deportees and 5,000 transported people. A succession of images and accounts acknowledge a legacy of violence with the strength of great narratives.
The Road to the Globe (2012, 52 minutes, directed by Mike Jonathan) This film follows actor Rawiri Paratene as he forms his company of entirely Māori actors in Aotearoa/New Zealand in order to take them to participate in their language at the World Shakespeare Festival at the Globe Theatre in London in 2012.
Stori Tumbuna: Ancestor’s Tales (2011, 80 minutes, directed by Paul Wolffram) This film focuses on the lives, culture, and mythologies of the Lak people in the remote region of Southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. The feature length ethnographic documentary is a collaboration between people of the Lak region and Paul Wolffram, an ethnomusicologist. It was conceived as an opportunity for the Lak people to tell the stories in their way.
The Tall Man (2011, 78 minutes, directed by Tony Krawitz) Welcome to Palm Island, a small tropical paradise in Northern Australia. It is the story of Cameron Doomadgee, an Aborigine, who was arrested in 2004 for apparently swearing at the local chief of police, Sergeant Chris Hurley. Forty-five minutes later, Doomadgee was found dead in his cell. Why? How? Was the “Tall Man” Chris Hurly guilty?
Tongan Ark (2012, 69 minutes, directed by Paul Janman) Tongan Island society is disorientated by modernity, globalization, corruption, immigration, and political problems. Blending Pacific and western traditions, a haven of peace struggles to persist there: the Private Superior Atenisi University created 45 years ago by Professor Futa Helu, a man with an original career path. An oasis of culture where art, philosophy, and the sciences are taught, this venue welcomes those who have the courage to defy authorities and conventions.