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Terror in Canning Paradise


Not so much in terms of form but fundamentally. To type, Canning Paradise responds perfectly to the very essence of the documentary whose vocation is to inform, awaken consciences, confront reality and provide a subjective vision of the world while at the same time making the images speak out loud and lastly to help to get rid of any clichés.

First of all we discover a little-known region, customary traditions and a global tuna industry attempting to claw back several tracts of land from the Papuans. After decades of excessive fishing which each year accounts for several million tons of tuna fished, the consequences in a far-off and remote land like Papua New Guinea are bound to be hard-hitting. In this country ‘where the land is the equivalent of money in the western world,’ the increase in taxes and quotas on exportations towards the European Union – the greatest consumer of tuna in the world – has dramatic resonance. And the first to be concerned are of course the last to be informed. This resounding performance of matters left unsaid strangely echoes the silence which has for a long time surrounded the installation of the Pacific Testing Centre. Several years ago fishing and agriculture also gave rhythm to the life of the natives in Papua New Guinea. Today globalization disrupts traditions and imposes a deterioration of the living conditions for populations unprepared for such a rapid change in their way of living. 80 to 85% of Papuans live – or should we say lived? – From their land.

Canning Paradise is a mechanism to ‘appeal to the whole world to listen to our cries’ launched by the different communities filmed. The public came out shaken up after witnessing this battle between David and Goliath.

Benoît, 22 years old, ‘A Successful Documentary’

‘We sometimes complain that documentary films remain a little elliptic or to the contrary provide too much information in the short space of only 52 minutes. In this 90-minute feature-length film it is a little the case, it is a very dense account, but I really liked the way in which this story is told. In terms of the content it is unquestionable. We can only side with these people who fight for their rights, to have the right to make use of their own land. For me it is a successful documentary in so far as the screening the film raises many questions. You want to complete the screening with personal research. The ending is left open and that to me is a good definition of a committed and militant documentary.