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
Ok, so this is very important to you to get paid $311.28, it's very important for you to have this tomorrow, we sustained our second robbery in your house, tonight's robbery, I believe the total lost will come around fifteen-$10,000. Yeah, so I'll make sure you get your $311.28 tomorrow. I'LL MAKE FUCKING SURE OF IT!
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I viewed this based on, frankly, I can't remember what, but what I came away with was a vision of Americans as much of the world sees us, self-absorbed, selfish, completely unaffected by trampling on the rest of the world with what we think is "right for them"...John Pierson, his wife and children are some of the most abrasive, annoying and clueless characters to ever hit the screen, and all we get from their presence on Fiji is their "Manifest Destiny" take on things, that if it's good for us, then hell, it's good for everybody. They bring the worst of Western values to what may be in the middle of paradise but what is, in reality, a third world country, and they mistakenly think, by their mere presence, that they've somehow changed things. This is no "Sullivan's Travels", in which the filmmaker got the message and made a difference, but rather a grating examination of a dysfunctional family who can do nothing but bicker endlessly...Wyatt's a real prize, one of the few children whom I've felt like decking in my lifetime. Watch at your own risk, these are people you simply love to hate.
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