New Internationalist

An island calling

August 2008

by Annie Goldson

This film uses the brutal murder of a gay couple in Fiji to explore the explosive mix of politics, religion and sexuality. At its core is the story of John Scott, a white Fijian who moves back to the island to live in an openly gay relationship with his partner Greg. Scott becomes head of the local Red Cross and is involved in this capacity during one of the military coups that eat away at Fijian democracy. The rise of Christian fundamentalism and its association with the indigenous movement in Fiji creates an atmosphere of puritanical (and hypocritical) authoritarianism that proves increasingly dangerous for those unwilling to conform. The film, made by the New Zealand/Aotearoa filmmaker Annie Goldson in collaboration with Scott’s brother Owen, combines stunning scenery, historical footage and interviews with gay Fijians, civil rights activists – even with the family of the killer. A fascinating and complex film that gives the viewer an understanding of Fiji beyond the tourist beaches.


This column was published in the August 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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