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Home » , » Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Story

Strange Birds in Paradise: A West Papuan Story

Written By Voice Of Baptist Papua on February 22, 2011 | 9:11 PM

ADELAIDE filmmaker Charlie Hill-Smith is obviously passionate about the fate of the West Papua people as they deal with oppression at the hands of Indonesian forces.


Adelaide filmmaker Charlie Hill-Smith is obviously passionate about the fate of the West Papua people as they deal with oppression at the hands of Indonesian forces. Having spent much of is youth in Indonesia, he clearly knows his history, too. But he's collected far too much information and footage and tried to cram it all in to the one "activist" film.

There's a story about muso David Bridie and PNG musicians staging a concert, an expose of a large gold mine, Hill-Smith's own travel stories, the detailing of massacres, some geopolitical history lessons and much more. There are some powerful scenes but the overall result is an unfocused narrative that follows too many threads. It's a real shame that the material doesn't gel in a cohesive whole, because like East Timor (which the situation closely resembles) this is a story that needs to be told.
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