Illustrating the real life struggles of the country’s resistance against western globalization and industrialization, The Coconut Revolution is a 2001 multi-awarded documentary film which centers on the plight of Bougainville’s indigenous people eco-revolution, the first of its kind in the world.
With a population of 160,000, Bougainville is home to one of the largest, most complex mines in the world. Using homemade guns and antique weapons, Bougainville is in a standoff against some of the world’s biggest mining companies successfully. The eco-movement is compared to the Hollywood blockbuster “Avatar”, which tells the story of protecting the planet from invading outsiders.
The people of Bougainville, sick and tired of seeing their environment being exploited by the Panguna Mine, rose up against the mining corporation, Rio Tinto Zinc. They formed the Bougainville Revolutionary Army and using bows and arrows, sticks and stones, drove away heavily armed men off the mountains. The film, which is directed by Dom Rotheroe, highlights how the indigenous people of Bougainville were able to drive off their adversary without using petrol or diesel and firepower.