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Filmography - Area Studies: South Asia, Southeast Asia, Oceania: Saipan, Samoa, Tahiti, Trobriand Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of January 2017

Area Studies: Saipan, Samoa, Tahiti, Trobriand Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu

Titles available on DVD and streaming video as of April 2011.

Most streaming videos listed are available exclusively to AU students, staff and faculty after an online authentications by AUID#.

Filmographies are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the ALADIN catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date holdings (including VHS tapes) please refer to the library ALADIN catalog (

Note: Vietnam War and War on Terror (in Afghanistan) are addressed in specific filmographies on those topics. Feature films are also excluded from this list with the exception of a few that depict important historical events that aren’t well covered by documentaries (e.g. The Killing Fields).




Behind the labels: garment workers on U.S. Saipan. 2003. 1 videodisc (46 min.). Lured by false promises and driven by desperation, thousands of Chinese and Filipina women pay high fees to work in garment factories on the Pacific island of Saipan, the only U.S. territory exempt from labor and immigration laws. The clothing they sew, bearing the "Made in the USA" label, is shipped duty and quota-free to the U.S for sale by The GAP, J. Crew, Polo and other retailers. Powerful hidden camera footage, along with the garment workers' personal stories, offers a rare glimpse into indentured labor and the workings of the global sweatshop where 14 hour shifts, payless paydays, and lock-downs are routine. The accompanying CD-ROM contains a screening guide to the film in PDF format. DVD 5428


Paradise bent: boys will be girls in Samoa. 2005. 1 videodisc (50 min.). An exploration of the Samoan fa`afafine, boys who are raised as girls, fulfilling a traditional role in Samoan culture. Today's fa'afafines are becoming more westernized and look more like drag queens. Dance has always been an important part of Samoan culture. From an early age, the fa'afafines dance the female role, and many continue to dance as entertainers in nightclubs. Several anthropologists, including Derek Freeman and Tom Pollard, comment on the phenomenon. Paradise Bent brings up issues of culture and gender and the complexities of sexual identity. DVD 2614


The Navigators: pathfinders of the Pacific. Ethnographic video online. 1983. 1 streaming video (59 min.). Follows archaeologists as they seek clues to the origins and achievements of ancient Polynesian seafarers. Shows the excavation of a powerful voyaging canoe on the Tahitian island of Huahine, early sailing routes in Fiji, and traces of Hawaii's first settlers on Molokai. Streaming video;763933

Trobriand Islands

Off the verandah. Pioneers of social anthropology: Strangers abroad. 2004. 1 videodisc (52 min.). Examines the work of Bronislaw Malinowski, who studied the people of the Trobriands, a group of Pacific Islands, altering the idea that native peoples were primitive savages. DVD 3206

Trobriand cricket: an ingenious response to colonialism. 2004? 1 videodisc (54 min.). Shows how the Trobriand Islanders have transformed the British game of cricket over the last seventy years into a unique Trobriand sport and a colorful ritual expressing their own cultural values. DVD 5451


Trouble in paradise. Ethnographic video online. 2004. 1 streaming video (73 min.). This overview of contemporary life in the tiny South Pacific country of Tuvalu documents the earth's first sovereign nation faced with total destruction due to the effects of global warming. With a population of about 11, 000 living on a total landmass of only 20 square miles spread over nine low-lying atolls 600 miles to the north of Fiji, Tuvalu has been inhabited for over four millenia. The government of Tuvalu and other concerned organizations are directing their pleas for solutions to the wealthy countries whose high pollution emissions could be the central human contribution to this phenomenon. Observation, narration, and interviews with Tuvalu citizens from various walks of life flesh out a full portrait of a unique community confronting a dubious future. Streaming video;763901


Into the Volcano. 2001. 1 streaming video (31 min.). Photographer Carsten Peter is obsessed with devising innovative methods for capturing never-before-seen images from some of the scariest environments on the planet. This program joins Peter as he descends into a hell within paradise, photographing one of nature's most violent forces at work. The Emmy-winning cameraman braves toxic gases, treacherous rock falls, and giant pools of molten lava as he rappels inside the active volcanoes of Vanuatu, an island in the South Pacific. Streaming video