An Island Calling
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An Island Calling

New Zealand, 2008, 72 Minute Running Time
US Premiere
Genre/Subjects: Biography / History, Documentary, Gay, Homophobia, Pacific Islander
Program: Documentary
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Annie Goldson

An ugly combination of misguided religious fervor, xenophobia and institutionalized homophobia resulted in the gruesome double murder of Fiji Red Cross Director-General John Scott and his partner Greg Scrivener in 2001. In an attempt to wrap his mind around this tragedy, John’s brother Owen sets out to the Pacific island and discovers that the seemingly simple course of events leading up to the homicides is fascinatingly convoluted and inexorably linked to his own family’s four-generation history in Fiji. At first glance, everything is as straightforward as it is sad: there is no uncertainty about the killer’s identity. Apete Kaisau, a one-time confidant of the couple, confesses within hours of the killings, proudly proclaiming that he was acting in God’s service by ridding the community of homosexuality’s blight.

Through doggedly determined research aided by Director Annie Goldson’s (Georgie Girl, Frameline26) sharp investigative journalism instincts, Owen teases out a deeper mystery. What could lead a well-developed young man — a promising athlete and a good son to boot — to commit such a horrendous deed? Unearthing layers of obscured history, the filmmakers provocatively delve into the uneasy role of colonialism and the resulting vacuum of power after its decline in Fiji, and trace a direct, compelling and downright scary line to a homophobic hate crime that serves as an enduring reminder of the dangers of living an openly gay lifestyle in a world still fraught with extremism. — ILYA TOVBIS

Text Voting Code: D302

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