ILEKSEN – Elections

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1978 | 58 Min. | 16 mm, OF
Q&A with: Dennis O’Rourke

ILEKSEN (pidgin word for »elec­tion«) is sort of a sequel of Dennis O’Rourke’s first film YUMI YET in which he cap­tures Papua New Guinea’s cer­e­mo­ny of inde­pen­dence in 1975. Now during its first free elec­tion the rural pop­u­la­tion of the young nation is intro­duced to the British elec­to­r­i­al system.
Since the local politi­cians do not dis­pose of an extend­ed media net­work they must exert all their inge­nu­ity to gain votes. One of them engages a noisy rock’n roll band, anoth­erone goes for tea with the prin­ci­pal of a British school. Yet anoth­erone makes a tour of the vil­lages – wear­ing tra­di­tion­al clothes and a head­dress of feath­ers – with a mega­phone, shout­ing a single message:«Forget the others!«

In ILEKSEN O’Rourke draws a hilar­i­ous, yet respect­ful pic­ture of the elec­toral con­test that may look chaot­ic to west­ern eyes but to which the inhab­i­tants of Papua New Guinea respond duly.