Wantoks: Dance of Resilience in Melanesia

Solomon Islands, USA, Bulgaria

19’58’’, 2019.

DIRECTED BY

Iara Lee

PRODUCED BY

Iara Lee

SCRIPTWRITER

/

CINEMATOGRAPHER

/

EDITED BY

Dimo Petkov, Silvio Montanaro

CONTACT

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In 2018, the Solomon Islands, in the South Pacific, hosted the Melanesian Arts & Cultural Festival, celebrating the country’s fortieth anniversary of independence. On neighboring island states, the struggle for freedom continues, as West Papua resists Indonesian occupation and the residents of New Caledonia still live under French rule. In all Melanesian countries, residents face the common challenge of climate change, as rising sea levels threaten to swallow both land and tradition. In this charged context, captivating performers are using their talents to celebrate local culture and draw international attention to their islands’ plight, with the hope of spurring international solidarity and prompting collective action against the perils of a warming world.


Iara Lee, a Brazilian of Korean descent, is an activist, filmmaker, and founder/director of the Cultures of Resistance Network, an organization that promotes global solidarity and supports agitators, educators, farmers, and artists to build a more just and peaceful world through creative resistance and nonviolent action.