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Strange Birds in Paradise: Soundtrack

by Wantok Musik

  • Compact Disc (CD)

    Soundtrack from the stunning 2009 documentary, Strange Birds in Paradise.

    While the Indonesian army continues to dominate the indigenous inhabitants of West Papua, three friends gather in Melbourne to record outlawed folk songs with renowned Australian rock musicologist David Bridie.

    Donny Roem is a recent exile. With his two young brothers and 42 other refugees, he crossed the Arafura Sea to Australia in a homemade canoe.

    Jacob Rumbiak was a child soldier in the West Papuan resistance movement. His moving story is one of oppression, torture and escape.

    Charlie Hill-Smith, an Australian writer, cartoonist and comedian, is their friend. His passion for contact across cultures has led him to forge close friendships with the Melanesians and the Javanese families he met as a teenage exchange student. Afloat in an extraordinary musical tradition from the West Papuan highlands, hearing stories of escape, oppression and exile from Jacob and Donny, listening to the defiant songs of murdered musician and independence hero Arnold Ap, Charlie confronts a basic question: how could these two vibrant cultures be at war and how can the rest of the world seemingly not care?

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released May 23, 2011



Wantok Musik Australia

Wantok Musik aims to generate and foster various cultural exchanges between Australia and our neighbours throughout Oceania by establishing a leading, not-for-profit Music Label representing First Nations and World Music groups of this unique region.

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