The Opposition is an award-winning investigative documentary set in Papua New Guinea that follows local leader Joe Moses’ struggle to save his 3,000 strong community before they are forcibly evicted from their homes. Despite police brutality and risks to his own life,Joe battles through the courts for three years fighting those who want to take away his community’s home.
The saga starts on Mother’s Day, Port Moresby 2012: 100 policemen wielding machetes and assault rifles and descend on the Paga Hill Settlement to bulldoze their houses to the ground. Residents are beaten, and cut with machetes; the policemen open re on the crowd. Dame Carol Kidu, Leader of the Opposition, there to protect the community,is taken away by the police and later released without charge.
This demolition is to make way for the new multi-million dollar ‘master planned development’ including a five-star hotel, marina wharf and executive residential apartments which will ‘set a new precedent in PNG’ 1.
As the struggle unfolds, Joe Moses recruits a coalition of allies including Dame Carol Kidu, investigator Dr Kristian Lasslett and a motivated team of pro-bono lawyers.
Piecing together the evidence, The Opposition shines a light on the pressures of urban development at a time when displacement is becoming a common occurrence for communities around the world.
The obstacles stack up against the community: in a devastating blow to their morale,their supporter Dame Carol Kidu retires from politics as the Leader of the Opposition and in a surprising about-turn, begins working with the development company who want to evict them. Where once Dame Carol Kidu stood in front of bulldozers to defend the people,she is now in charge of relocating the community, paid by the development company.
As the Supreme Court date draws closer, the pressure mounts. Late one night, two plain-clothed policemen attempt to arrest Joe Moses and refuse to tell him the reason for his arrest or produce a valid warrant. Fearing for his safety if taken into custody, Joe is able to escape into hiding...