A VILLAGE WOMAN TELLS HER SECRETS
Misima is the first ever documentary film about the indigenous people of Misima Island, located off the mainland of Papua New Guinea. Misima has a long tradition of egalitarianism, where both men and women cooperate to grow their gardens, families, and villages. When a Canadian company, Placer Dome, installed a large mining operation on their island, it brought Western ideas along with it. Men suddenly had access to employment and large sums of cash, which gave them new and unbridled power over women, their homes, and villages.
The company strip-mined the island, leaving behind a culture infected by Western attitudes about money, packaged and sugary foods, alcohol, sex, and elitism. Misima follows the story of one of these women who lost her husband, her marriage, and her home to the mine. The film spans a year and a half of her journey into uncharted territory as a single mother and as the first female clan leader. She bravely breaks cultural taboos fighting for her land rights in the apex of a clan dispute, struggling to maintain her mountain garden, and recovering her daughter from her ex-husband’s relatives.
Misima is a universal story of how quickly we can lose control of our lives and one woman’s attempt to regain control over her destiny after her world is turned upside down by a massive mining operation and the effects of Westernization.