SCREENS ON THE 26TH MARCH AT 1 PM AT OTAKI MEMORIAL HALL
Directed by Jessica Sherry
If you had never heard of an airplane or a refrigerator, would you think it was a miracle when one arrived? When the American military landed on a remote island in the South Pacific during World War II, the islanders were amazed by America’s fantastic cargo – planes, trucks, refrigerators, canned food. They thought such goods could only come from the Gods. Led by the mysterious prophet John, a religion was born, the John Frum Movement, also known as a Cargo Cult.
The John Frum Movement still exists in one village in the islands of Vanuatu; the leaders still go to speak with the spirit of John in sacred caves and believers sing songs about him every Friday night. While the US may have forgotten Tanna Island, the American flag flies high over the village of Lamakara and young men march in formation, imitating US soldiers. Lamakara is the last stronghold of the John Frum Movement, but today it is plagued by outside pressures and internal conflict. Waiting for John explores this extraordinary religion from the perspective of the last village of believers, as they struggle to preserve their way of life. In the process this film asks, where do prophets come from? And what makes people believe?