Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June

A DOCUMENTARY about land rights in Papua New Guinea has premiered at an international film festival but with key pieces of footage edited out following a NSW Supreme Court injunction.
Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June Dame Carol documentary fight continues in June

Respected former PNG politician Dame Carol Kidu won the injunction, restraining the Australian makers of The Opposition from screening footage about her role in the redevelopment of Port Moresby shanty town Paga Hill.

A three-day hearing will be held in June to determine if Australian filmmaker Hollie Fifer breached a contract between herself and Dame Carol and if the latter could prove she was the victim of deceptive and unconscionable conduct.

The 77-minute documentary was screened at Canada's Hot Docs, the largest documentary festival in North America, in late April.

It focuses on the struggle to stop the eviction of 3000 people from a decades-old squatter community to make way for an Australian-backed property development that is promising a hotel, marina and exhibition centre. It is the proposed venue for the 2018 APEC leaders' summit.

Dame Carol, the former PNG opposition leader, publicly protested against the development.

However, after retiring from politics in July 2012, she established a private company, which was later engaged by the project's developers to advise and champion its resettlement scheme, The Age reported.

About 20 minutes of the film was redacted even though Fifer argued in court that the cuts were the "central scenes" and the "heart of the documentary". The edited sections were replaced by a narration by Australian actress Sarah Snook.

Following a series of urgent hearings in the NSW Supreme Court recently, Dame Carol was ordered to pay $250,000 as security.

Fifer and the two production companies behind the film, Media Stockdale and Beacon Films, scrambled to re-edit the film in time for its premiere.

Excluded from the injunction was about two minutes of footage of Dame Carol protesting as bulldozers demolished homes at Paga Hill, a prominent headland on Port Moresby's Fairfax Harbour, in May 2012.

Dame Carol is seen protesting vigorously against the destruction of the settlement and being taken away by police.

This footage was excluded because it was uploaded by Dame Carol's daughter Dobi to YouTube at the time and is still available on the internet.

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