Sun Come Up – A Film about Climate Change in PNG
Climate change is not just about penguins and polar bears. It’s about communities, too. Sun Come Up follows the relocation of some of the world’s first climate change refugees – the Carteret Islanders, a matrilineal community living on an island chain, 50 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea.
The islanders share a rich tradition of music, dance, and storytelling. For centuries, they’ve lived on a diet of fresh fish and fruit, and without cars, electricity, or running water. Their carbon footprint leaves one of the lightest impressions on the planet. Now, however, a modern crisis has intruded upon them. Climate change is destroying this far-flung island chain. During the high tide season, the ocean floods the island. Salt water contaminates crops and fresh water wells, and inland gardens have turned to swamps, creating a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
The islanders face three urgent and, potentially life threatening, problems: the islands are shrinking, the population is increasing, and access to food and water is decreasing. Now they plan to move to Bougainville, where a 10-year civil war with Papua New Guinea devastated villages and claimed 10 percent of the population. Leaving behind a peaceful existence on a remote atoll, the Carteret Islanders must adapt to an island suffering the aftershock of war.
Sun Come Up presents the human face of climate change and a people faced with the loss of a land in which their identity is rooted. It is a portrait of a community and a critical moment in history. The film raises important questions about climate change and security and how to protect the rights, dignity, and culture of people being displaced by climate change.
To view the Sun Come Up trailer, click here.