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Ronin Films

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Year: 1991

Classification: G

Runtime: 59 min

Produced In: Australia

Directed By: Les McLaren, Annie Stiven

Produced By: Les McLaren, Annie Stiven

Language: English, Tok Pisin and Mortu dialogue, English subtitles

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Cowboy is a reformed 'raskol'. Unemployed, illiterate and with a jail record, he invents an electric guitar out of scrap materials and plays his distinctive rock 'n' roll on street corners, earning just enough for his family to get by.

Maria lives an equally precarious existence. Seasonal gardening and her husband's small income as a night security guard are their means of survival. Only her resilient humour keeps her going when intertribal conflicts, inflamed by frustration and alcohol, erupt in the settlement.

Cowboy and Maria are vital players in the new urban Papua New Guinea. Their interwoven stories highlight the consequences of urban drift, where traditional and Western values meet.

These intelligent and determined optimists are far from being Third World victims; they go about their daily lives with humour and imagination, rising to the challenge of the enormous cultural changes that confront them.

Les McLaren and Annie Stiven co-wrote a short history of filmmaking in Papua New Guinea for the Australian Documentary Conference 1993, ISBN: 0646165402. Les McLaren also wrote a short memoir about early film & music experiences in Papua New Guinea for Meanjin Quarterly, Vol 62, No. 3: ISBN-10: 1740660951 ISBN-13: 978-1740660952