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Hot Docs 2016 Review: The Opposition

Part of the appeal of seeing The Opposition and especially viewing the film at Hot Docs is its own internal opposition. The film by Hollie Fifer featured footage of Dame Carol Kidu, a leader for the inhabitants of a town in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, to hold on to their land and not have it torn down by a developer.

In a last minute reversal, (nine days before the film became set to premeire at the festival), Kidu changed her mind. She had joined the other side (and did not allow her footage to appear in the film).

Her scenes are instead replaced by a blank screen, and her dialogue read by actress Sarah Snook. This aspect of The Opposition is probably the most interesting element of the particular version of the film. It is curious to think about why Kidu changed her position so dramatically. Snook’s readings provides clues.

The doc, though, rests on the side of the Papuans, making for a pretty straightforward doc: engaging but early on making a clear point. The audience feels as though there is more to the story, both of the land and especially of the film.

[star v=3]

  • Elsie Kaia Joseph

    Whilst Hollie has globally highlighted the abuse suffered by 300 former “illegal residents” at the hands of Gummy Fredriksson and the Paga Hill Development Company, she has forgotten the LAND RIGHTS OF more than 10,000 indigenous landowners at the hands of the PNG Government & Fredriksson and his company.

    Tell Hollie Fifer that “advertisement” on the film about a gripping story of struggle & commitment, alliances and surprising reversals would be all fake as that is the angle that should come from the Indigenous Landowners.
    Hollie says she had an obligation not to ignore the community and the best way to raise awareness was through her film – if she researched it properly she would have found the real sufferers – the indigenous people of Motu Koitabu. The years she spent capturing legal tussles and personal stories are wasted when you have left the real sufferers out. She says her story is about an Australian company and its relationship to PNG – if she researched properly she would have found that the real sufferers were the same people that Australia had original contacts with and whom Australia left in a vacuum. You worried about 200 people living in a tent with barely any facilities for less than 5 years – what about the thousands of indigenous landowners living in impoverished states right across Paga Hill and under her very nose?
    So she sponsors Moses to study international human rights law in Britain and urge him to call for compensation for his settlors – hey, the indigenous landowners HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN COMPENSATED YET! So tell Hollie – we are disappointed with her film and she better tell the United Nations and the World that her film is NOT WHAT IT SEEMS!