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The Coconut Revolution (2000)

This is the modern-day story of a native peoples' remarkable victory over Western Colonial power. A Pacific island rose up in arms against giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) - and won despite a military occupation and blockade.

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This is the modern-day story of a native peoples' remarkable victory over Western Colonial power. A Pacific island rose up in arms against giant mining corporation Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) - and won despite a military occupation and blockade.

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A rare treasure...
1 November 2006 | by (Belgium) – See all my reviews

This is by far one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen! Hard to come by, perhaps due its subversive nature...From the little I know, it received an amnesty international documentary award at the end of the 90s and was aired on Channel 4 in the UK sometime before 2002, although even then the crucial scenes of the coconut oil biodiesel processing were cut out (very obviously). Since then I have never come across it. The documentary follows 2 of the first (british?) journalists able to enter the island of Bougainville, in the Solomon Islands belonging to Papua New Guinea, since the island was reclaimed by its local inhabitants. This pristine tropical island is richly endowed with various mineral resources, leading it to be exploited by a huge mining multinational mining company operating in this part of the world (whose name i forget). One day, the islanders take over the mines, destroy the infrastructures and expel the foreign mine employees, and sending a clear message to the outside world. Then followed the successful resistance and defeat of riot police, the PNG army over many years. PNG even hired a SAS-type mercenary unit from England to sort out the embarrassing situation, but they were sent home by the angry under-paid PNG army, at which point the conflict/revolution briefly entered the mainstream media. And since, Bougainville remains under embargo as the world's first self-sustained 'eco-revoltion', yet politically and internationally unrecognised. This documentary shows how the people of Bougainville survived and created an ingenious and functional alternative existence. At the heart of their subsistence lies the humble coconut, providing them with valuable nutrition, lamp oil and home-made biodiesel to run their jeeps around the island, and giving them a upper hand in their fight against the PNG army..I could go on, but my memories are incomplete, and you have to see for yourselves - you'll never have seen anything like it!


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