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by Amelia Hapsari
color, 59 min, 2008
Above the water, the Indonesian island of Balobaloang looks like an ideal tropical paradise, with blue skies, coconut trees, and crystal water. Under the water, however, "fish bombing" with dynamite and cyanide is destroying the coral reef, threatening the marine habitat and the livelihoods of the island's inhabitants.
Traditionally, people who live in small islands in Indonesia have fished using sustainable fishing methods, and conserving and sharing resources. However, a high overseas demand for fish has created a new kind of economy, in which cargo ship owners export fish at the expense of island residents. Corruption and illegal fishing practices have made it impossible for traditional fishermen to receive a fair share of their paradise.
Collaborating with Balobaloang fishermen, the filmmakers confront illegal fishermen, government officials and police officers to investigate the dangerous new methods that threaten Balobaloang's sustainable way of life. Tackling the social, economic and environmental effects of illegal fishing, Sharing Paradise looks for solutions to the fishing problem and a more equitable, sustainable future for Balobaloang.
Official online study guide
Film Festivals, Screenings, Awards
Association for Asian Studies Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2009
Athens Film & Video Festival, Ohio, 2009
AAA/Society for Visual Anthropology Film, Video & Multimedia Festival, 2009
Voices From the Waters Film Festival, Bangalore, India, 2009
Voices From the Waters Film Festival, Vancouver, Canada, 2009