The Borneo Case

directed by Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams, Sweden/ Germany/ Wales 2016, 92'

Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams' film shows us the impact of the wasteful destruction of the tropical jungle in the Malaysian province of Sarawak on Borneo. The protagonists of The Borneo Case are activists who have spent decades fighting for the rights of the last tribes of hunters and gatherers living in this part of Southeast Asia. The fight is an uneven match: the governor of the province, the notorious Abdul Taib Mahmud, who, in collaboration with Western corporations, has accumulated a massive fortune over the years by exploiting equatorial forests, will stop at nothing to save his empire. Activists trying to draw the world's attention to the scale of environmental devastation and fate of the local tribes are intimidated, imprisoned, and tortured. Or they disappear without a trace, like Bruno Manser, a Swiss man for whom the jungles of Sarawak had become a second home. Operating in London, however, is a small radio station that is being jammed by the Malaysian government and that has been, bit by bit, providing evidence of the extent of the corruption, embezzlement, and money laundering involved. The filmmakers follow the story of two activists who, after years spent in forced exile, return to Borneo, and with a help of a British journalist conduct an operation against Taib and the corporations collaborating with him. It turns out that, in such a difficult showdown, it is possible to enjoy truly spectacular success.


  • Admission free