|Pacific Media Watch|
Review - Land of the Morning Star
Title -- 4290 PAPUA: Review - Land of the Morning Star
Date -- 4 February 2004
Byline -- None
Origin -- Pacific Media Watch
Source -- Sydney Morning Herald, 2/2/04
Copyright -- SMH
Status -- Unabridged
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REVIEW - LAND OF THE MORNING STAR
See also: A guerilla and a one-man band
By Jacqui Taffel, Land of the Morning Star, ABC, 8.30pm
SYDNEY (SMH Online/Pacific Media Watch): For those who prefer a well-made documentary to fruity frivolity, this covers the turbulent colonial history of what is now Papua but has also been known as Netherlands New Guinea, West Papua and Irian Jaya. In the past 100 years or so, a constant stream of strangers have arrived - the Dutch, the Americans and, since the 1960s, the Indonesians.
What emerges here is a series of political machinations and betrayals, including the farcical Act of Choice in 1969. This ensured that the country remained the 26th province of Indonesia, though it was clear to observers what the original inhabitants really wanted, and still seek. Several times Papuans have been tantalisingly close to independence, only to
have it snatched away.
The documentary's director, Mark Worth, was born in
Papua New Guinea and saw refugees arriving in 1969
from what was then West Irian. One of them was
Clemens Runaweri, who has spent 30 years in exile and
features in this program.
Sadly, Worth died recently in a Papuan hospital aged
45. This documentary is a tribute to his passion for
the region, as well as a compelling overview of a
story very similar to East Timor's (including
The East Timorese have gained independence but the
Papuan flag, featuring the Morning Star, is yet to fly
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