MA’OHI NUI: IN THE HEART OF THE OCEAN MY COUNTRY LIES
academy cinema, 12 pm SATURDAY july 7
Director Annick Ghijzelings 2018 Belgium 113 min In French / Tahitian (English Subtitles)
An ancestral voice recites the past, present and future of the Ma'ohi, the people of Tahiti. She speaks to Tanaoa, a young man in search of the fading identity of his people. Eye-witness accounts recall the nuclear testing done by French colonizers from 1966 − 1996 on the French Polynesian atolls Moruroa and Fangataufa, near Tahiti. The words can be heard to the hollow rumbling sound of a bomb explosion in slow-motion, resembling the roar of traditional Polynesian drums. The Ma'ohi sensed the horror around them, yet they were disempowered and could not turn away. Deceived and compelled through money and the seductions of modern life and dispossessed of their land, they gradually lost connection to their Polynesian ways, their resources, their language and their ocean. But the Ma'ohi spirit is resilient, it resists and it survives. Poet and political activist Flora Devatine’s ethereal words recapitulate and empower the voices of a people seeking the path of independence.
A film by Annick Ghijzelings Tahiti, French Polynésia, another face of contemporary colonisation born of the thirty years of French nuclear tests and the vital impetus of the Ma’ohi people trying to survive and who, silently, are seeking the path of independence.