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Mining Company Blocks Fiji Film

An Australian mining company has successfully blocked the screening of a film in Fiji - critical of its operations and funded by the New South Wales Labor Council.

Source  :  Labornet (Australia)

06 December 2001

Emperor Goldmines are trying to stop the screening of Na Ma'e Na Ma'e - We Stand Until We Die - through their lawyer Sahu Khan.

The documentary by 'Atu Emberson-Bain is scheduled to be screened as part of the CCF Human Rights Film Festival in Suva today.

It was banned from being screened on local television by the Rabuka Government in 1992.

On Wednesday afternoon, Emperor Goldmines lawyer Sahu Khan threatened Village 6 and the CCF with court action by the company if they showed the film.

This film was produced by Dale Keeling and the principal funder was the NSW Labor Council

The title - Na Ma'e Na Ma'e - is the Fijian version of the Maori haka war cry. The movie details the struggles by more than 600 goldmine workers in the early 1990s to establish a union and struggle for basic conditions and wages against Australian company Emperor Goldmines. The ensuing strike is still the longest in the Pacific.

Na Ma'e Na Ma'e was the first film produced in the Fijian language, yet despite the nationalism of the Rabuka years, was banned from screening on Fiji TV by the Rabuka Government. Ironically it details the exploitation of indigenous Fijian workers by a multinational company.

The 50 minute documentary was screened on SBS-TV in 1992 and was exhibited at a number of international film festivals in 1992/93. After it was banned in 1993 sales of the video soared.

Ten years later the issues that provoked Dr 'Atu Emberson-Bain, now a Labor senator, to make the film remain largely unresolved.

For further information
Contact : Peter Lewis

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