June 1, 2022

To remember the valuable contribution of workers in recent history and to further emphasise current labour issues, Cinemata has curated a selection of short films from Australia and the Philippines. Environmental videos contributed by new Cinemata members InsightShare and Aceh Documentary are also highlighted in this edition of the newsletter.



‘Indonesia Calling — Joris Ivens (1946)’

Indonesia Calling is a provocative film from 1946 by director Joris Ivens that showcases the solidarity among local and international workers who supported Indonesia's right to self-determination.

At the height of the independence movement in Indonesia, seamen and waterside trade unions in post-World War II Sydney refused to service Dutch ships (known as the Black Armada), containing arms and ammunition. Indonesia Calling is produced by the Maritime Union of Australia (formerly the Waterside Workers' Federation of Australia).

Director: Joris Ivens


‘Philippines: A Nation of Contractuals’

The practice of contractualisation has long been prevalent in various industries in the Philippines, leaving employees to deal with job uncertainty and work with no benefits.

In this documentary, a teacher hired as a contract worker digs deeper into this labour practice. She learns of the uphill battle to change the system and how ordinary citizens can take action. Philippines: A Nation of Contractuals was listed among the Ten Best Documentaries in 2015 by the Society of Filipino Film Reviewers.

Producer: PinoyMedia Center


‘Forbidden to Die (Dilarang Mati di Tanah Ini)’

The documentary Forbidden to Die follows the story of residents originally from Kuala Seumayam in Aceh, Indonesia who are relocated to a new settlement owned by a palm oil company. In the four hectares of land allotted to them, they struggle to make a living in a place where even the dead have no place to rest.

Released in 2014, Forbidden to Die is directed by Nuzul Fajri and produced by Aceh Documentary.

Producer: Aceh Documentary


‘Community responses to COVID-19 in Nagaland, India’

Amid country-wide lockdowns in India, the Chizami indigenous community of Nagaland reflects on the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihood and food security of daily wage earners, and how they seek to rise above these challenges despite uncertainty.

This video is part of InsightShare Network's “COVID-19: Indigenous Insights” series, which explores the struggles faced by indigenous and rural communities and the solutions they offer.

Producer: InsightShare


‘Leuser Forest, Not a Forbidden Land’

When forest and human survival are at stake, how do authorities and locals ensure the protection of both the environment and communities dependent on it?

In the documentary Leuser Forest, Not a Forbidden Land, authorities and locals of the Pulo Piku village in Aceh, Indonesia share their perspectives on how the forest can be conserved while communities also prosper.

Video by: Aceh Documentary



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Maritime Union of Australia

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Maritime Union of Australia