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NZ Film Festival: There Once Was an Island

When:

Sat 21 Aug 2010, 1:30pm

Where: Lido Cinema, Centre Place, 501 Victoria St, Hamilton, Waikato

Restrictions: All Ages

On Takuu, a tiny low-lying atoll in the south-west Pacific, the impact of climate change can be seen with every rising tide. The sea washes ever further inshore. Salt water invades fresh and devastates the vegetation.

Briar March’s film delivers empathetic portraits of three islanders as they respond to the crisis. Some on Takuu see the hand of God in the relentless erosion of their environment, while others pay attention to the analysis and concerned advice of visiting scientists. Meanwhile, the Papua New Guinea government proposes to move the population with its distinct language and Polynesian island culture to the sugar fields of Bougainville.

The intimacy of March’s encounters makes this confrontation with a global crisis a vividly personal one. If there’s truth in the claim that people will only begin working to counteract climate change when it affects them personally, then this quiet evocation of a tiny, vital civilisation under siege from the sea that once nurtured it immediately brings that moment closer for anyone who sees it. — BG

Director: Briar March
Year: 2010
Running time: 80 mins

Photography: Briar March
Producers: Lyn Collie, Briar March
Co-producers: Kelly Anderson, Mark Foster
Executive producer: Annie Goldson
Editors: Prisca Bouchet, Briar March
Sound: Jeffrey Holdaway
Music: Tom Fox, Marshall Smith, Mark Smythe
In English, Takuu and Tok Pisin, with English subtitles
DigiBeta

With: Faith Endar Adu, Teloo Fakatutufenua, Satty Puaria, John Hunter, Scott Smithers

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