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Canning Paradise (Documentary on land dispossession in Papua New Guinea)

4 years ago, Written by , Posted in Articles, Civil Society

Canning Paradise (2012) | 90 min  Documentary | Fourth World Films

By Charlène Jouanneau | Program Officer | Bloom Association

“Canning Paradise” is a documentary directed by Olivier Pollet and released in 2012. This movie presents the story surrounding the settlement of tuna factories and its consequences on indigenous populations in Papua New Guinea.

It beautifully shows how these people fight to protect their way of life and their lands, to which they relate perhaps stronger than anywhere else on earth. But this fight is unbalanced. Multinational corporations offer jobs to local people, and the papuan government, weakened by corruption, betrays its population by allying with the giants. As one of the movie protagonists tells:

“It’s extraordinary that the rest of the world, or at least the rest of the western democratic world is trying to restore to indigenous people the rights to deal with their land, whereas this government is managing to do what white colonial rule didn’t do, which was to strip the rights of the indigenous people to protect their land”.

How long will it remain possible that those who try to live outside the cash economy inevitably loose when facing the power of money?

The documentary has received many awards (Best Feature in Pêcheurs du Monde Youth Jury, 1st special Jury Prize in Fifo Tahiti). The website ( is of great resource for anyone who is interested with this sheer example of land grabbing.