GenreDocumentary, Short ProducerDominic Brown Duration LanguageEnglish
Release dateSeptember 21, 2009 (2009-09-21) (Raindance Film Festival) People also search forThe Road to Home, La Badil, Di Timur Matahari
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Forgotten Bird of Paradise is a 2009 multi-award-winning documentary film directed by British filmmaker Dominic Brown, about the struggle for independence being fought in the Indonesian region of West Papua. The film was shot undercover, and includes interviews with human rights victims and political prisoners, as well as footage of separatist guerrillas at their jungle stronghold.
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Brown travelled and filmed in West Papua without the permission of the Indonesian authorities, putting himself in great danger. Brown reflected that on West Papua the situation was "like apartheid", and likened the transmigration program and anti-secession policies to "genocide".
The documentary features an interview conducted with Yusak Pakage, a high-profile West Papuan political prisoner recognised by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. He is currently serving a ten-year prison sentence for raising the West Papuan flag during a ceremony in 2004. The interview was recorded in secret by Brown during a hospital visit where Pakage was receiving treatment for torture.
There is also footage from an TPN camp led by one of the armed resistance leaders, General Goliath Tabuni. In addition, the documentary provides viewers with an insight into recent developments on the international arena towards West Papuan self-determination, including the launch of the International Parliamentarians for West Papua.
BBC Newsnight, UK (12-minute feature) - March 2009
ABC News, Australia (7-minute report) - September 2009
Channel 4 News, UK (short segment used for report on West Papua) - October 2010
The documentary was included in the 'Best of 17th Raindance Film Festival Shorts' DVD, released in October 2010
Best Documentary - Dam Short Film Festival, USA, 2011
Best Short Documentary - Davis International Film Festival, USA, 2015