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June, 2003. During the final month of their year-long stay in Fiji, indie-film gurus John and Janet Pierson and their two children host a documentary film crew. John's been showing free movies at the 288-seat 180 Meridian Cinema, in remote Natokalan Village on the island of Taveuni. Reality intrudes in paradise: their home is burgled, the local Catholic priest criticizes John's project, their daughter's behavior may be threatening the reputation of her friend, and John's prickly personality follows him. Against this backdrop, the Fijians laugh at the Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, and "Jackass: The Movie." John finishes the year with ten movies in ten days: do movies matter? Written by
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John Pierson's goal was to immortalize himself on film. Mission accomplished. However, this indie film was quite disturbing on several levels. John and Janet Pierson don't have the first clue on how to be parents. John came across in the film as emotionally immature, self centered, and arrogant. He and Janet were completely out of control as parents. They provided absolutely no guidance, structure, or direction to their children. The children were in control. The parents were not. Georgia, the daughter, was especially obnoxious and disrespectful. Their parental skills were so lacking that it was disturbing to watch.
It was also disturbing to watch John Pierson's arrogance and total disregard for the Fijian people and their culture. He was such an Ugly American. He claims to disdain American culture. Why does he show American movies to the locals? Why does he behave so obnoxiously when he is a guest in another country?
I have no use for Catholicism or the Catholic Church, but the church was a far better influence on the local people than the self absorbed antics of an idiot like John Pierson.
Self promotion at its worst! Indie film-making at its worst!
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