Posted in: Movies, Tattle

Another Paradise review – shining a light on the Chagos Islands travesty

The ripple effects of western imperialism are laid bare in this affecting doc about Creole people ejected from their homeland

Fifty years ago, the entire Creole population of the Chagos Islands were forcibly removed from their own homes by British forces in order to make way for a US military base. Families were torn apart, scattered between the Seychelles and Mauritius, where they endured enormous economic hardships and discrimination. In Olivier Magis’ documentary, the horrors of those nights are painfully alive. Over atmospheric shots of rippling ocean waves we hear shocking first-person accounts of people throwing themselves overboard and small babies dying during these arduous journeys.

Sabrina, a second-generation Chagosian exile, carries this startlingly recent legacy on her indefatigable shoulders as she fights for the rights of her people to return to their homeland. Perpetually displaced, many of the Chagosian refugees currently living in England face insurmountable financial precariousness and get little state support. Their fervent protests outside the House of Lords also seem to fall on deaf ears: in 2016 the UK government decided against a resettlement of the islands, citing monetary costs.