WATCH: Anna Coddington celebrates album release with exclusive live performance. A peace agreement resulted in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville Government. "The Bougainville crisis is unique in that way as well as it gives you very profound keys to address this question, I think. Kiwi filmmaker Will Watson has been working on his documentary Soldiers Without Guns since 2005, and it's finally making its big-screen debut. Other than a few close friends, I have kept pretty quiet about the documentary project I started work on in 2014 ().After a 10 year civil war with the Papua New Guinean (PNG) Government, the Autonomous Region of Bougainville will vote for independence between 2015 and 2020 and my goal is to document what life is like there, through my photography, during this period. When you look at the fundamentals of this story, this revolution, it connects to every part of the world. "The way we (he and co-director Olivier Pollet) wanted to work with the people was in collaboration, giving them the space to tell their story with their own eyes.". By 1988 the tensions had led to violence, guerilla rebels shut the mine down and people started taking sides. "When the NZ led mission went in, what it did was it created space. The movie is based on a novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones. Bougainvillean separatism dates to the 1960s; conflict over a contentious mine became the primary trigger for the Bougainville Civil War, which lasted a decade and concluded in 1998. Photo: still from Soldiers Without Guns. Photo: Supplied, Marshall Islands fisheries revenue expected to drop 20 percent, Rogue yacht looking for fruit ordered to leave Niue, RNZ Pacific Xmas: 'A tribe without its chief', Number of people joining gangs increased by at least 13% this year, police data shows, Brexit: EU diplomats briefed on Brexit trade deal, Holiday commuters warned of congestion hot spots, Explosion in Nashville 'intentional act', police say, RNZ's pick of best New Zealand pictures of 2020. Featured Documentaries. The recovery process has been slow though, and there will be a referendum to decide whether Bougainville should become fully independent from Papua New Guinea in October this year. We were able to get their trust to such an extent that they handed in their guns, and they would talk to each other. Bougainville should become fully independent from Papua New Guinea in October this year. In 1997, after 14 failed peace agreements, the New Zealand army stepped into the conflict with a radical new plan - instead of bringing guns, the unarmed soldiers took guitars. ", Still image from 'Ophir' Francis Ona responded by unilaterally declaring independence. The Bougainville civil war ran from 1990 - 1998 and was one of the most brutal conflicts our Pacific neck of the woods has ever seen, with an estimated 15,000 people (Bougainville's entire population is around 160,000) killed and many suffering human rights abuses at the hands of the Papua New Guinean army. What is also unique is the fact that the revolutionaries, as some call them, won the war.". "When you looked at the country brief, you knew that you were not going into a benign environment. The tiny island of Bougainville, a province of Papua New Guinea, could become the world’s newest nation, more than 20 years after a brutal civil war killed thousands of people. Last year Ona claimed to have been made King of Bougainville in a coronation ceremony, and is now making another bid for political power. The film's viewers can find their own connection to this story, Berman said. During the colonial era Bougainville was occupied by the Germans, Australians, Japanese, and Americans for various periods. The conflict was described by Bougainvillean President John Momis as the largest conflict in Oceania since the end of World War IIin 1945, with an estimated 15,000–20,000 Bougai… That's one-sixth of the entire population. The Australian government has estimated that anywhere between 15,000 to 20,000 people could have died in the Bougainville Conflict. There was also an influx of workers from Papua New Guinea and Australia, who the locals resented. Cassidy says that when she returned to Bougainville 20 years on, it was like nothing had changed. He said the film of Bougainville through its civil war and struggle for sovereignty aimed to highlight a unique case of indigenous people fighting for something greater. The Bougainville conflict, also known as the Bougainville Civil War, was a multi-layered armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 in the North Solomons Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG) between PNG and the secessionist forces of the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), and between the BRA and other armed groups on Bougainville. The Coconut Revolution is a 2001 multi-award winning documentary film about the struggle of the indigenous peoples of Bougainville Island during the Bougainville Civil War. To inquire about a licence to reproduce material, visit our Syndication site. And they wanted it stopped. The NZ Defence force was asked by the Bougainvillians to lead the operation, bolstered by soldiers from Fiji and Vanuatu. It's a struggle that we seldom, if ever, heard of here in the States. The NZ Army has had a very strong Māori culture since WW1, and so they included haka and waiata. By 2007 he had a film crew in Bougainville, and Brigadier Mortlock, who had announced and supervised the unarmed mission was on board. Berman's film is being run later this month at New Zealand's Documentary Edge Festival. Bougainville Revolutionary Army leader Francis Ona, barefoot and wearing a bush hat, in 1994 during the decade-long civil war in the archipelago. A recently released film Mr Pip - which is set during Bougainville's civil war period - has also generated global interest in the island. This gave rise to a local resistance movement that eventually forced the closure of the mine in 1989. Because of the war, schools have been closed for some time and there are occasionally periods of extreme violence. Assisted by moderate leaders on all sides, Bougainville’s burgeoning civil society was able to slowly develop a framework for peace. A peace agreement resulted in the creation of the Autonomous Bougainville … The Bougainville Civil War, also known as the Bougainville Conflict, was an armed conflict fought from 1988 to 1998 between Papua New Guinea and the Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA), who were fighting for independence. He set up the Bougainville Interim Government (BIG), but it had little power, and the island began to descend into disarray. Much of what I'd read about Bougainville before arriving painted a picture of a troubled and unstable country. With the mine shut, the Papua forces left and the country spiralled into a brutal civil war that over a decade would kill 20,000. And those peace accords that NZ ran were the starting point, but we as service men and women, taking a totally different approach, provided a bridge. On Bougainville, where thousands died during the Pacific’s bloodiest conflict since the end of the Second World War, the fighting is over—but the task of rebuilding has only just begun. It was a fight for fundamental things somehow. A film-maker says Bougainvilleans' ongoing struggle to protect their land and rights is an example that the world should take note of. And that's quite unique. When war on the remote Papua New Guinea Island of Bougainville ended, the combatants invited the international community to send in a peace-keeping force on one condition: they come unarmed. The Coconut Revolution relays the academically underexposed Bougainville Civil War, in Papua New Guinea. The Panguna Mine - then the largest copper mine in the world - was closed, and remains closed today. Local resistance movement that eventually forced the closure of the Bougainville conflict started over an enormous Australian-owned Papua New in... 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