The Coconut Revolution – an award winning documentary about the first true eco-revolution
The 2001 multi-award winning documentary, The Coconut Revolution, is more than just a film about the struggle of the indigenous Bougainville people during the bloody conflict between the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Government, CRA and mining giant Rio Tinto.
The film depicts the ingenuity of local knowledge combined with the resourcefulness of the people who are cut off from the rest of the world and force to improvise with what they have.
In their attempts to show the world they are capable of being independent, the Bougainville people revolutionize the use of coconut, much like their ancestors had for generations, to create their own economical and affordable fuel source – an eco-revolution. However, the film covers more than just use of coconut.
The creativity and ingenuity of the people are highlighted with the manufacture of their own high weapons, a mini hydro power plant and the use of herbal medicine as alternatives to manufactured pills.
The most amazing footage would be their interview with elusive Bougainville Revolutionary Army (BRA) leader, Francis Ona, and his portrayal as a people’s leader.
Many people have drawn parallels between this documentary and James Cameron’s 2009 fictional blockbuster Avatar.
The Coconut Revolution has won a number of awards including:
- Grand Prize, FICA Festival of Environmental Film, Brazil;
- British Environment and Media (BEMA) Awards Richard Keefe Memorial Award – WWF;
- Golden Kite, Best Documentary, Mar del Plata, Argentina, and;
- Silver Kite, Best Film for Young People, Argentina.