About movie

Election Fever: Kanjimei, East Sepik 2012

Original title Election Fever: Kanjimei, East Sepik 2012


What do elections really mean in a small, isolated village in Papua New Guinea? This observational film focuses on Kanjimei in East Sepik Province. The story takes up as outsiders start turning up in the village on the campaign trail – it’s national election time. Disillusioned by governmental neglect, the Awiakay people regard the visitors’ rhetoric with a certain cynicism and with astute observations about PNG politics and politicians. The film confronts us how villagers in a place like Kanjimei understand the democratic process. At the same time, we’re impressed by the logistical challenge of staging the ballot in scattered settlements where literacy and knowledge of how to vote can’t be taken for granted. We get to see how people interpret the ‘outside world’ through the prism of their own world-view.

Author/s Darja Hoenigman

Darja Hoenigman is a linguistic anthropologist, completing a PhD at the Australian National University. Observational ethnographic film forms a central part of her research among the Awiakay, a predominantly hunter-and-gatherer society of about 300 people living in Kanjimei village in the lowland rainforest of the southern floodplain of the Sepik River in Papua New Guinea, where she has been working since 2004.

Research Darja Hoenigman
Photography Darja Hoenigman
Sound Darja Hoenigman
Editing Darja Hoenigman