Snook to narrate redacted sections of The Opposition after court decision

02 May, 2016 by Brian Karlovsky

Sarah Snook to narrate censored doco The Opposition.


Sarah Snook will voice redacted sections of Media Stockade's investigative documentary The Opposition at Hot Docs International Film Festival following a decision from the NSW Supreme Court.

Former Papua New Guinean politician Carol Kidu, who is featured in The Opposition, has obtained an injunction until the final hearing restraining the publication or exhibition of parts of the film that include her appearance and dialogue.  

The full version of the documentary was set to have its World Premiere on May 3 at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, coincidently on UN World Press Freedom Day.

In line with the court’s preliminary decision, the filmmakers are proceeding with plans to screen a redacted version of the film for Hot Docs audiences. 

The redacted version of the film features narration over the censored footage by Australian actress Sarah Snook. 

The Opposition producer, Rebecca Barry, said the court action seeking to stop the release of parts of the film raised serious questions on the issue of freedom of speech.

“It would seem that there are powerful forces who don’t want this film to be seen, but we believe that audiences should have the right to make up their own minds," she said. 

"This story is too important not to be told and we will be defending the film strongly when the final hearing takes place in June.” 

The Opposition tells the story of a David-and-Goliath battle over land in Papua New Guinea. 

It follows Joe Moses, one of the leaders of a four-generation strong settlement in Port Moresby who must save the community before they are evicted off their land. 

The film highlights the gap between law and justice.

Former Papua New Guinean politician Carol Kidu, who features in The Opposition, has sought  to exclude her appearance and dialogue in the film by seeking an injunction restraining Media Stockade from screening and distributing any visual or audio recording that they made of Dame Carol Kidu or any summary, representation or description that has the effect of revealing that content.  

Her court case is being supported by the Paga Hill Development Company.

The Paga Hill community is filing for damages in the PNG Courts for the loss of their homes and human rights violations. 

The Opposition is their evidence base because most of their documents were destroyed during numerous demolition exercises that were carried out at Paga Hill, according to Media Stockade.

"The Opposition has been thoroughly researched, considered and checked both legally and journalistically by professionals with extensive experience in Papua New Guinean culture and politics," a Media Stockade statement said. 

"Media Stockade has followed all appropriate codes of practice in the making of the film."

The Opposition received funding from Screen Australia and Screen NSW and was then selected for the inaugural Good Pitch Australia 2014 event.