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Atoll People

Short Film (Full Length) – 1970

Tokelau is a New Zealand territory, spanning three small South Pacific atolls. In the 1960s the New Zealand Government expressed concern about overpopulation, and instigated the Tokelau Islands Resettlement Scheme. This National Film Unit documentary surveys Tokelau society and culture from a New Zealand perspective, and follows the journey of a group of Tokelauans who chose to migrate to Aotearoa (where they adapt to telephones and horses near Te Puke). It was one of three NFU documentaries directed by Derek Wright on Pacific Island subjects.

The islands owe their discovery to Commodore Byron, fruitlessly searching for the mutineers from Captain Bligh's Bounty. But having been discovered they were left unwanted, until the pleas of the islanders persuaded Britain to annex them in 1916. New Zealand assumed responsibility for them in 1925 ...
– From the narration (Tokelauans may disagree about their discovery!)

Key Cast & Crew

Ron Bowie

Producer

Derek Wright

Director

Geoffrey Scott

Producer

Roy Singleton

Sound Recordist

John Lowe

Sound Recordist

Malcolm Nish

Camera