A VILLAGE WOMAN TELLS HER SECRETS
Misima examines the universal experience of what happens when our lives escape our control, and how we can rediscover our resilience.
This is the first ever documentary film about the indigenous people of Misima Island, located off the mainland of Papua New Guinea. The island 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, Inc., built a massive gold mining operation on their island, it brought significant cultural and economic changes to the island. Men suddenly had access to employment and large sums of cash, which gave them new and unchecked power over their women, homes, and villages.
The company strip-mined significant portions of the island, leaving behind a culture infected by outside attitudes regarding 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 a clan leader. She bravely fights for the recognition of her land rights, struggles to maintain her mountain garden, and seeks to recover her daughter from her ex-husband’s relatives.
Her world was turned upside down by a massive mining operation and the corrosive effects of Westernization, and yet her resilience will inspire audiences across the globe. One village woman attempting to regain control over her destiny, reflects a central aspect of what it means for all of us to live in the modern world.