Black Harvest

Director: Bob Connolly

Institute History

  • 1993 Sundance Film Festival


The final episode of a trilogy that includes First Contact and Joe Leahy's Neighbors, Black Harvest is a powerful chronicle of the clash between two cultures in the highlands of Papua. New Guinea. Joe Leahy, a mixed race highlander and wealthy coffee-plantation owner, joins with members of the Ganiga tribe to open and run anew plantation. His ally is Ganiga tribal leader Popina Mai, a warrior and orator who dreams of delivering his people into the modern world. Joe promises the tribe that hard work will lead to money, but when the bottom falls out of the coffee market. Joe is caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between traditional and modern values.

Black Harvest updates us on the problems of Papua, which get worse each year as the tribes are ripped from their cultural heritage and confronted by the demands of first-world capitalism. The people of New Guinea desire to become capitalistic players, but they still rely on their traditions to solve problems. Unfortunately they often end up pointing their bows and arrows at each other.

In one poignant moment. the tribesmen carry their dead to a sacred burial in the back of a Toyota truck. Filmmakers Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson lived in a grass hut in the Ganiga territory for two years to make this film. If one intention was to capture mesmerizing footage, they succeeded admirably.

Saturday Jan 23 4:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I

Monday Jan 25 10:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema I

Thursday Jan 28 1:00 pm
Holiday Village Cinema t


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details

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