So I totally bagged this film when I first saw the trailer and primarily because Andrew Able from the PNG Surfing Association had raised his concerns over how the film negatively portrayed PNG, not to mention the fact also that it was ultimately filmed in West Papua.
But I’m hearing more and more about this film and it’s efforts to highlight the issues in West Papua, so I’m open to them sending me a DVD of the film so I can do a review on it.
I’m also impressed that they are trying to get 25,000 signatures to force the White House to address the Human Rights abuse in West Papua and also the suppressed speech and banning of Red Cross to the area. So I’ve also emailed the Director, Geoff Clark and I’ve basically said that if they’re keen on helping with the West Papua cause, they should make a visit here to PNG to meet Powes Parkop and Benny Wenda when they stage their second and bigger Free West Papua concert later this year. We could screen the film to coincide with the music event.
And might be a good idea to bring along their Isolated Ambassador for Peace and Executive Producer, Ryan Phillippe. Ryan mentions in a CNN interview that it is something that should be supported because it would be a mistake not to and that it will effect him and people in the US eventually in one way or the other. But what he could have said is that the issues of West Papua can be directly linked to the US mining company Freeport’s Grasberg mine, which is the largest tax payer to the Indonesian Government. Maybe the US can start looking at how their companies are behaving in this part of the world.
I like what Geoff and Ryan are doing but lets work together on these issues and not in isolation.
- West Papuan independence figure Benny Wenda’s recent visit to Vanuatu’s Parliament –an historic first– seems to have left echoes within its halls.
- In conversation with Sir Mekere Morauta on the MSG & the Pacific Plan