Land of the Morning Star.Land of, the Morning Star has been described as the "life's work Life's Work is a sitcom that aired from 1996 to 1997 on the American Broadcasting Company channel that starred Lisa Ann Walter as Lisa Ann Minardi Hunter, the assistant district attorney who had a husband named Kevin Hunter " of journalist and film-maker Mark Worth who died in West Papua West Papua: see Papua. last January, just two days after the announcement that his new documentary film would premiere on Australian television.
What struck me about the 55-minute documentary was its balance. In contrast to the emotive, provocative style of film-maker John Pilger, Worth presents a remarkably cool, even-handed portrayal of events. He even gives air-time to a pro-integration representative of an Indonesian political party.
Narrated by actor Rachel Griffiths, Land of the Morning Star offers a rare glimpse into the complex global politics that have shaped West Papua's fate. It chronicles varying degrees of colonization from the Malaccans to the Dutch, Japanese, Americans, Dutch again, and finally Indonesians, explaining how each regime affected the next, and Australia's increasing complicity. The film also provides a valuable update on the effects of changing governments in Jakarta and how Papuans responded.
Worth presents a rational explanation of Indonesia's claim to the region. At the same time, he is clear about the dual injustice of the Cold-War-inspired New York Agreement
The New York Agreement is a document brokered by the United States on behalf of the Indonesian government in 1962 to transfer sovereignty of Western New in 1962 and the so-called "Act of Free Choice" in 1969, when only 1,025 out of a million Papuans were selected to vote for independence openly and under Indonesian supervision. But he takes pains to avoid being one-sided, such as when he points out Papuan mistreatment mis·treat
tr.v. mis·treat·ed, mis·treat·ing, mis·treats
To treat roughly or wrongly. See Synonyms at abuse.
mis·treat of the Indonesian soldiers who parachuted into Papua in 1962, expecting to be welcomed as liberators from the Dutch.
Documenting the ignorance and misguided intentions that led to the current state of injustice, he seems to be saying--it's okay, we understand; we just want it put right. As such, the film may be more palatable to a wider range of viewers.
Worth spares us the gruesome images of torture and mutilated mu·ti·late
tr.v. mu·ti·lat·ed, mu·ti·lat·ing, mu·ti·lates
1. To deprive of a limb or an essential part; cripple.
2. To disfigure by damaging irreparably: mutilate a statue. bodies that often appear in films about the Indonesian "provinces" such as East Timor East Timor (tē`môr) or Timor-Leste (–lĕsht), Tetum Timor Lorosae, republic, officially Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (2002 est. pop. . Instead, eye-witnesses describe the violence in calm interviews. With mostly oblique references to oppression and no mention of large-scale atrocities such as the Biak massacre, the film in my opinion downplays the severity of the situation and the brutality of the occupying forces. While this was likely intentional, my fear is that an uninformed viewer might walk away with the impression that the Indonesian invasion and occupation were unjust but relatively benign.
Worth also skips over the anthropological and ecological richness of "the last unknown," other than to say that Papua contains 250 separate languages. This is no criticism--just an observation that the film's focus is entirely different from the award-winning documentary by Vancouver-based Ian Mackenzie about the Moi people. For public screenings, the two films would be complementary, even though Mackenzie's film, Cry of the Forgotten Land is a decade old. One is an excellent historical treatment; the other an intimate depiction of the impact on the ground.
What impressed me most about Land of the Morning Star was its portrayal of the Papuans as gracious, nationalistic and politically savvy people. Worth presents them as diverse in views and customs, yet sharing a common cause and intuitive understanding Intuitive understanding is comprehension without any necessary contemplation or explanation.
When designing products it is useful to think as the "naïve user", someone who will use the product but has no knowledge of how to use it. of the politics impacting their world. In this sense, he offers a hopeful vision of what might be, and at the same time acknowledges the stubborn forces that continue to thwart self-determination.
Mark Worth's film leads us to ask questions about what can now be done to move toward a peaceful solution that respects the Papuans' ultimate quest for Verb 1. quest for - go in search of or hunt for; "pursue a hobby"
quest after, go after, pursue
look for, search, seek - try to locate or discover, or try to establish the existence of; "The police are searching for clues"; "They are searching for the full autonomy. It suggests no answers. Surprisingly, this is one of its strengths, a fitting legacy for a man committed to a conciliatory con·cil·i·ate
v. con·cil·i·at·ed, con·cil·i·at·ing, con·cil·i·ates
1. To overcome the distrust or animosity of; appease.
2. and peaceful resolution of the tragedy that continues in West Papua.
Land of the Morning Star by Mark Worth, 55 minutes, 2004. Produced by Film Australia, with assistance from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia's national public broadcaster, known previously as the Australian Broadcasting Commission. The ABC provides television, radio and online services throughout metropolitan and regional Australia, as well as and available for rent from PPP (Point-to-Point Protocol) The most popular method for transporting IP packets over a serial link between the user and the ISP. Developed in 1994 by the IETF and superseding the SLIP protocol, PPP establishes the session between the user's computer and the ISP using .