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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.

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