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Betelnut Bisnis (2004)


This documentary follows several indigenous people of New Guinea as they attempt to earn cash by selling the psychoactive drug betelnut. The money is needed to pay for food, school fees and medicine. Betelnut is grown on the coast and has been a socially acceptable stimulant since ancestral times but is new to the highlands. The camera follows several New Guineans as they go to markets and growers seeking trade.

Curator’s notes

The film looks at the use of and trade in betelnut. By following several characters, Lucas and his wife Kauku in particular, as they interact with others, the quiet dignity and resourcefulness of the people shines through.