REVIEW: Ophir: Bougainville's epic struggle for freedom

Film review of Ophir, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet

  • Catherine Wilson Independent writer
Keywords: Bougainville, Bougainville war, colonialism, conflict, documentary, film, mining, Papua New Guinea, reviews


Ophir: Decolonize. Revolutionize, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Arsam International/Fourth World Films/Ulster University.  2020. 97 minutes.

IN OPHIR (2020), a feature length documentary film about the Bougainville civil war (1989-1998), French filmmakers Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet analyse the devastating conflict and under-reported repercussions which continue to reverberate in the region today. Ophir in the Old Testament (Genesis 10; 1 Kings 10:22) is a land of great mineral wealth exploited by King Solomon. In eastern Papua New Guinea, the people of Bougainville also claim Ophir to be the original name of their remote islands. Like the fabled land, Bougainville is endowed with treasure, predominantly copper and gold. In the late 20th century, exploitation of these was at the centre of a powerful story of colonialism, inequality, war and redemption.


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Ophir: The story of Bougainville (2020, February 27). ABC Pacific Mornings. Retrieved from

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Regan, A. (2014). Bougainville: Large-scale mining and risks of conflict recurrence. Security Challenges, 10(2) 74-75. Retrieved from

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How to Cite
Wilson, C. (2021). REVIEW: Ophir: Bougainville’s epic struggle for freedom: Film review of Ophir, directed by Alexandre Berman and Olivier Pollet. Pacific Journalism Review : Te Koakoa, 27(1 & 2), 304-306.