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FIFO Grand Prix goes to a story of life in the shadow of ‘la bombe’

A film dedicated to the life of an engineer who worked for the French nuclear programme in Algeria and the Pacific for 30 years and died of throat cancer has won the top prize at the 10th Oceania Film Festival (FIFO) in Tahiti.

Tahiti News reports that the jury unanimously awarded the Grand Prix to the 52 min documentary entitled To the Bomb’s Children (Aux Enfants de la Bombe).

The film, made by French directors Christine Bonnet and Jean-Marie Desbordes with a team of young French Polynesian technicians, tells the story of French nuclear engineer Bernard Ista who kept filming the tests during his career – in spite of official bans, ultimately dying at the age of 54.

One of the producers invited for the award ceremony said he wished this film – to be aired on television soon in both French Polynesia and France – would help the French government acknowledge past mistakes about nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Three other special prizes were awarded – to Canning ParadiseAllan Baldwin and The Road of the Globe: Troilus and Cressida.

Canning Paradise is about the consequences of overfishing in Papua New Guinea whileAllan Baldwin is the portrait of a New Zealand photographer who specialised in Māori tattoos.

The Road of the Globe: Troilus and Cressida tells the story of Māori comedians about to take part in a Shakespeare Festival in England.

The FIFO people’s choice award went to a film made by Australian director Catherine Scott, Scarlet Road, about sex workers for disabled persons.