THE TRANSFORMED ISLE

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A missionary film made on Vella Lavella on the Western Solomon Islands by the Methodist church.

“[The film crew] planned to stay two hours on Vella Lavella. But Mr. Nicholson (the Methodist missionary) scenting an opportunity of Missionary propaganda through the cinematograph, persuaded them to stay two weeks. He induced his people to re- enact the scenes of the past, dressed in the feathers and paint of warriors, setting out in their war canoes on head- hunting raids, dancing their war- dances [..] Then he had the picture people film scenes of their life today, their assembling for worship, their happy home life, the safety and security of little children and so on [..] The film was shown widely throughout Australia and New Zealand [and is] of interest historically as an example of missionary propaganda and the kind of stereotyping missionary organisations were involved in at that time. It also, I understand has some anthropological value in that it captures on film traditional practices that quickly died out as a result of the ‘transformation’ the missionaries brought”. (information supplied by Rev Dr. Allan Davidson)

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Year 1920

Reference number F1767

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production SOLOMON ISLANDS

Duration 1:02:00

Production company Methodist church

Credits Director: Rev Reginald C Nicholson
Supervisor: Rev Reginald C Nicholson
Filmed: Peter Pry
[Produced]: Peter Pry