This 52 minute film was shot in 1989 and offers the first ever insight into the West Papuan independence struggle against Indonesia.
The Indonesian Army invaded the Western part of New Guinea in 1963, occupied the land with over 1 million Malay settlers and started to exploit the vast copper, gold, oil and gas resources with the help of companies like Freeport-McMoran (USA), BP (UK) and others. Most indigenous Papuans oppose this proxy-colonisation and in retaliation they suffer ruthless repression.
This is the most extreme and complicated film I ever produced. The preparations took me more than 2 years, I lost an airplane in the jungle, escaped the Indonesian Army for six month and got eventually rescued by helicopter. My survival depended on the Papuans, many good friends and also my parents back in Switzerland who helped coordinating the rescue operation.
All the footage with the Papuans was shot by myself and the filming on the Indonesian side was organized by a separate team. It was crucial to show both sides of the conflict.
This 52 minute film was first broadcast in 1991 on Channel 4 in the UK.
Further information about the West Papuan Independence Movement can be found on the following links:
Courtesy Claudio von Planta