18 Feb 2016

Filmmaker says Pacific needs to celebrate local heroes

3:46 pm on 18 February 2016
Still from the film 'Tupaia'

Still from the film 'Tupaia' Photo: Oceania Film/Island Film Productions/Polynésie 1

A Film Producer in French Polynesia says the Pacific has been focusing on European explorers for too long, and needs to start celebrating local heroes.

Eliane Koller recently made a film, focusing on the story of Tupaia, Captain Cook's Tahitian navigator, who skillfully guided the ship Endeavour to New Zealand from Polynesia.

She said she was moved to make the film after observing how some people view Europeans as discovering the Pacific.

"But what people forgot is that the Pacific was actually discovered much earlier by star navigators who were much better at navigation. Who managed to find all the islands in the Pacific, which the Europeans didn't at all, lots of them died on their way because they didn't know how to find their way."

Ms Koller said the idea of the good savage also needs to be overturned, as the early Polynesians were a highly intelligent people.


Tupaia Photo: Oceania Film/Island Film Productions/Polynésie 1