THE ROAD TO HOME
The Road to Home follows Benny Wenda, the Nobel Peace Prize nominated West Papuan independence leader, in his ongoing struggle to free his people from Indonesian colonial rule. Benny was born and raised in the Baliem Valley in the remote central highlands of West Papua. In 1977, when he was two years old, the Indonesian military undertook aerial bombing raids over the highlands, killing many of his family. Benny was subsequently raised by an uncle and appointed leader by the elders in his tribe. After graduating from university he became Secretary-General of Demmak (Dewan Musyawarah Masyarakat Koteka), the Koteka Tribal Assembly for the West Papua highlands. Demmak was established by highland tribal elders with the goal of working towards recognition and protection of the customs, values and beliefs of the tribal people of the highlands. He was arrested and placed on trial in 2001 by the Indonesian authorities following a crackdown on pro-independence figures. He escaped prison while on trial and was smuggled across the border to neighbouring Papua New Guinea where he was later reunited with his wife Maria at a refugee camp. Several months after this he travelled to the UK where he was granted political asylum, and from where he now lives leading the campaign to being freedom to his homeland. Provided exclusive access, The Road to Home follows Benny Wenda in his life as a leader in exile. From meeting political leaders through to addressing international conferences and schools, the documentary provides an insight into the tireless work of a man with one goal – freedom for his people, 9,000 miles away.
Produced, directed, filmed & edited by Dominic Brown.