Directors: Alexandre Berman, Olivier Pollet | 78 min | 2020 | France, United Kingdom
“A poetic ode to the indelible thirst of people for freedom, culture and sovereignty.”
'Ophir' tells the story of Bougainville and its people who hope for peace, work for freedom and protect their indigenous culture.
The story of an unknown indigenous revolution and a decade long war, Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet's 'Ophir' describes the attempts of an Australian-owned mining company to take over the residents of Bougainville, to legislate away their rights to life and the things that sustain it.
'Ophir' is one of quite a few 'David and Goliath' stories in Doc Edge 2020. European films 'Acasă, My Home' and 'I Am Not Alone' plus a pair of South Africa-set films, 'How to Steal a Country' and 'Influence', also address the face-offs between powerful interests and disenfranchised members of society.
The beauty, poetry and enlightened philosophy of the residents of Bougainville contrast with the dirt of the mining company and the cynical businessmen who exploit every possible loophole in their quest to destroy the land.
“It’s theft,” observes one Bougainville resident.
“It’s sad that they killed it,” says another, looking at a crater where a mountain used to be.
“It’s the history of the world,” explains co-director Olivier Pollet.
Alexandre Berman and Olivier'spoetic, dramatic ode to the indelible thirst for freedom, culture and sovereignty offers a gripping exposition of the visible and invisible chains of colonisation.
Previous festival selections include:
FIFO: winner, Grand Prix