The Opposition Tile

The Opposition: Fighting for Justice in PNG

Joe Moses, the leader of the Paga Hill settlement in Papua New Guinea, struggles to save his community from eviction.

Editor’s note: This film is no longer available to view online.

In Papua New Guinea, community leader Joe Moses struggles to save the 3,000 inhabitants of the Paga Hill settlement before they are forcibly evicted from their homes.

Despite betrayals, police brutality and risks to his own life, Joe battles through the courts for three years, fighting the company who wants to develop the area into a luxury resort and cultural centre.

As the struggle unfolds, Joe recruits a coalition of allies, including politician Dame Carol Kidu, investigator Dr Kristian Lasslett and a motivated team of pro-bono lawyers to help him save his community.

“Some stories pick you. On my second day in Papua New Guinea, I found myself in the middle of a human rights abuse – standing between police holding machetes and machine guns, and the Paga Hill community, who were watching their homes being destroyed and fearing for their lives. The community were peaceful, but refused to be defeated,” recalls filmmaker Hollie Fifer.

“When I found out that a property developer was after the Paga Hill land in order to build a five-star hotel, marina wharf, and national cultural centre, I knew I had an obligation to capture the community’s resistance. The irony of violently evicting a Papua New Guinean community to replace their homes with a national cultural centre was startling. The fallacy of ‘development’ was clear. Over the last four years, I have been constantly watching the story of Paga Hill unfold and trying to capture it as it does.”