26 July 2019

Banabans of Rabi - A Story of Survival [Documentary]

Banabans of Rabi - A Story of Survival, a short documentary by postgraduate student journalist Hele Ikimotu and screenwriting and production student Blessen Tom, has been produced while on assignment in their 2018 Bearing Witness climate change research and publication project in Fiji. "During the Second World War, the inhabitants of the island of Banaba were forcibly displaced to Rabi Island in Fiji due to phosphate mining by the British Phosphate Commission. The Island of Banaba was decimated and the Banabans had to start afresh in Rabi. The documentary follows the people in Rabi and sheds light into the problems that they face now, especially with climate change." The documentary was selected for the 2018 Nuku'alofa Film Festival in Tonga and the 2019 Māorilands and Pasifika film festivals. It was publicly screened for the first time as part of Auckland University of Technology's Pacific Media Centre "Midwinter Showcase" on 27 July 2019.

Background news story:
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Directors: Blessen Tom, Hele Ikimotu
Storyteller: Hele Ikimotu
Interviewers: Hele Ikimotu, Janet Tawaketini (translator)
Cinematographer: Blessen Tom
Executive Producers: David Robie and Jim Marbrook
Special thanks: Nelli Sorongan
Bearing Witness Project (PMC, AUT) in collaboration with the University of the South Pacific Journalism Programme Pacific Media Centre/Te Ara Motuhenga, Auckland University of Technology, Aotearoa/New Zealand:

Ikimotu, H., and Tom, B. (2018). Banabans of Rabi - A Story of Survival [Documentary]. Auckland: Pacific Media Centre. 9min 18sec. Available at: