Today my partner Lyn Collie will be at the world premiere at Festival International du Film Documentaire Oceanien in Tahiti of the documentary that she has been producing part-time all the time I’ve known her. My congratulations to both her, the director Briar March, and the many other people who have worked on this documentary since they started working on it in 2006 for getting it out and being seen.
What if your community had to decide whether to leave their homeland forever and there was no help available?
This is the reality for the culturally unique Polynesian community of Takuu, a tiny low-lying atoll in the South Western Pacific. As a terrifying tidal flood rips through their already damaged home, the Takuu community experiences the devastating effects of climate change first hand.
Like many coral structures worldwide the Takuu atoll probably3 has issues with coral bleaching which means that the atoll isn’t growing. More frequent and larger storm surges are causing an increase in the numbers of king tides that cause flooding on the atoll. The relatively few centimeters of sea level rise that have already occurred in the last century are affecting the viability of being able to grow crops as it threatens the fresh water ‘bubble’ under the atoll.
All of these effects are devastating to the ecology of an atoll that only rises a meter3 above the sea at its peak. Consequently the community on Takuu, which has been there for at least 1000 years3, is now at risk. These are effects that are influenced or caused by anthropogenic climate change induced by the industrialized nations and their addiction to burning fossilized carbon. The effects impact most strongly on the cultures and societies that have had virtually no part in creating the problem.
The documentary focuses on the effect on a community that is having to look at resettling in war-torn Bougainville. This has been planned by the essentially bankrupt2 government of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville. But to date it hasn’t happened. Takuu is likely to be merely the first of many places having refugees from climate change effects.
There has been an immense struggle by Briar and Lyn to make the film part-time on extremely limited finances and major amounts of time donated by many people. However virtually none of those constraints show in the final result. Despite the number of times I’ve seen it, it still seems like a hell of a good documentary.
Look for it coming to a festival near you. And Lyn – have fun today.
Updated: Lyn corrected me3.
Update: They won the Grand Prix (the major prize) at FIFO. It is a great documentary..
Update: Lyn was on Nightline tonight. So I’m going to stick this to the top of the posts until the morning. I think its needs more time at the top and both she and the film looked great.