YUMI YET

INDEPENDENCE FOR PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Dennis O’Rourke
Australia 1976 | 54 Min. | 16 mm, OmeU
Q&A with:
Dennis O’Rourke

In 1975 a period of one hun­dred years of colo­nial­ism came to an end for Papua New Guinea. A pop­u­la­tion of three mil­lion people, speak­ing a total of about 700 lan­guages and living scat­tered on hun­dreds of islands, sud­den­ly con­sti­tut­ed one nation. Papua New Guinea got ready for demo­c­ra­t­ic elec­tions, joined the United Nations and pre­pared for taking part in a fast chang­ing world. YUMI YET is an account of the course of events on inde­pen­dence day in a coun­try that, within a cen­tu­ry, changed from a group of often hos­tile tribes to a modern democ­ra­cy. The radio­sta­tion calls upon the people to dress appro­pri­ate­ly on this mem­o­rable day. »Long sleeved white shirts and black trousers for the men, the women’s clothes should com­ple­ment the men’s.« But now­body both­ers about these pompous direc­tions. Every­body dress­es in tra­di­tion­al fash­ion, with paint, feath­ers and flow­ers. Dig­ni­taries from home and from abroad arrive by aero­plane. The cer­e­mo­ny is ready to start with Prince Charles stand­ing by to give his bless­ings to Inde­pen­dence. Although the rain­mak­er suc­ceeds in arrang­ing a down­pour, people are cheer­ful and opti­mistic when the flag of their new state is hoist­ed offi­cial­ly for the very first time.