The 1992 film Black Harvest was directed and produced by Bob Connolly and Robin Anderson. Filmed in the highlands of Papua, New Guinea, it follows a half-white, half-African man Joe Leahy attempting to manage a coffee plantation that he collectively owns with the local Ganiga tribe. Leahy employs Ganiga tribesmen and women, giving them 40% of the earnings while he receives 60%. During the film it is learned that coffee prices have plummeted, giving Leahy no choice but to cut wages and face the tribes-people’s response.
The film portrays the tragedy within attempting to find cohesion in two completely opposing lifestyles, as one is seemingly attempting to overpower the other. While Joe Leahy represents the colonial businessman, his Ganiga partners, enthralled in their traditions and choosing to stay devoted to their duties in local tribal warfare, remain rooted in a lifestyle much different than that of Joe Leahy. Black Harvest evokes an understanding of the implications of colonialism that can be most deeply seen through the montage of many short scenes, with few moments of long-held interview-type shots. As the sound of the film is completely diegetic, everything that is heard is in direct correlation with what is being filmed, this being broken only once at the end of the film, where sobs can be heard from a woman aside from what is in direct camera view, symbolic of the film’s downtrodden conclusion.
The issue of Leahy’s attempt to overpower the Ganiga tribe’s