The epic feature length documentary by renowned Australian film-maker John Pilger, Utopia looks at the great Australian silence around the brutal dispossession and treatment of Aboriginal people.
Strange Birds in Paradise is a journey into just some of the more than 250 West Papuan cultures. Intercut with Hill-Smith’s travelogue and short animations, the interviews paint a picture not only of a country with a rich musical tradition and breathtaking nature, but also of a country weighed down by Indonesian military oppression. A large number of retired army generals have substantial economic interests in West Papua, and the army uses extreme violence to keep the lid on the West Papuan population’s independence movement. In 2006, Hill-Smith decided to return to West Papua, this time equipped with a professional camera and all the knowledge he had gained about the country’s history.
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