L'évangile selon les papous

    The Gospel According to the Papuans

    • Thomas Balmès
    • France
    • 1999
    • 52 min
    • IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary
    Not so long ago, the different tribes living in the jungles of Papua New Guinea had their first contact with white men. From the fifties, representatives of various denominations descended on the country to convert the native population to the Christian faith. Methodists, Lutherans, Seventh-Day Adventists and Catholics, they all felt an urge to convert. Although many Papuans became Christians, until recently there were still many who refused to give up their old lifestyle and customs, such as polygamy. Ghini is the respected leader of the Hulis, one of the 700 tribes living in Papua New Guinea. He is the oldest member of the tribe and vividly remembers how the whites came down in their outlandish flying machines. A short time ago, his life and that of his tribe went through a sweeping change: in imitation of their leader, the entire tribe had themselves baptised. An important reason for this shift was the announcement by the missionaries that Jesus will return to earth in the year 2000 and that the Last Judgement will be passed. Still, Ghini is hesitating. He finds it hard to accept the god of the Bible as the only deity in his life; after all, the first man was created by his ancestors, whereas the Bible was written much more recently. His fellow tribesmen are not altogether enthusiastic about the new course, either. A number of warriors rise in revolt, because they have to relinquish their weapons and power in favour of the church.


    • 52 min
    • color
    • video
    Thomas Balmès
    Yves Jeanneau for Les Films d'Ici
    Thomas Balmès
    Catherine Gouze
    Thomas Balmès, Jerome Teigné

    IDFA history

    IDFA Competition for Mid-Length Documentary

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    IDFA history

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