In a David-and-Goliath battle over a slice of Papua New Guinea paradise, Joe Moses, leader of the Paga Hill Settlement, struggles to save his 3,000 people before they are evicted. Battling it out in the courts, Joe may find his community replaced with a fivestar hotel and marina.
The Opposition is an investigative documentary set in Papua New Guinea that follows local leader Joe Moses’ struggle to save his 3,000 strong community before they are forcibly evicted from their homes. Despite betrayals, police brutality and risks to his own life, Joe battles through the courts for three years fighting those who want to take away his community’s home.
The saga starts on Mothers Day, Port Moresby 2012: 100 policemen wield machetes and descend on the Paga Hill Settlement to bulldoze their houses to the ground. Residents are beaten, andcut with machetes; the policemen open fire on the crowd while arresting the Leader of the Opposition Government, Dame Carol Kidu, there to protect the community.
This demolition is to make way for the new multi-million ‘master planned development’ including a five-star hotel, marina wharf and executive residential apartments which will ‘set a new precedent in PNG’.
As the struggle unfolds, Joe Moses recruits a coalition of allies including Dame Carol Kidu, investigator Dr. Kristian Lasslett and a motivated team of pro-bono lawyers. Piecing together the evidence, The Opposition shines a light on the pressures of urban development at a time when displacement is becoming a common occurrence for communities around the world. As the Paga Hill crisis becomes a well known David and Goliath battle in Papua New Guinea, the government enters into a profit share with the company, creating a new twist in the saga.
The obstacles stack up against the community: in a devastating blow to their morale, their mentor Dame Carol Kidu retires from politics as the Leader of the Opposition and in a surprising about turn begins working with the development company who want to evict them. Where once Dame Carol Kidu stood in front of bulldozers to defend the people, she is now in charge of relocating the community, paid by the development company.
As the Supreme Court date draws closer, the pressure mounts. Late one night, two plain clothed policemen attempt to arrest Joe Moses and refuse to tell him the reason for his arrest. Fearing for his safety if taken into custody, the community distracts the police and Joe is able to escape into hiding…
Tv version 52 min screener (password-protected): https://vimeo.com/220457087