This feature-length documentary tells the fascinating story of
how a war was ended by an army without guns, determined to unite
people in peace.
The Bougainville Civil War erupted when Bougainvilleans rose up
against the might of the Australia-owned Panguna copper mine, which
had destroyed their environment, taken their land, and divided the
After 10 years of war, 14 failed peace agreements and 20,000
people dead, New Zealand stepped in with an unorthodox yet
unprecedented style of peacekeeping. Taking guitars instead of
guns, they were able to bring the warring parties together with
music and cultural connection.
With hundreds of hours of interviews, and spectacular newsreel
archive footage spanning over seventy years distilled into one
movie, SOLDIERS WITHOUT GUNS is the inspirational story of a tiny
island holding on to hope for independence and for peace, beset on
all sides by corporate interests, colonial oppression, state
violence, and civil war.
Director | Will Watson
Will Watson was born in Havelock North, New Zealand. A product
of the 1960's love generation, he believes that there is always a
better way to resolve things than violence, and his life's work is
to prove that's true. Alongside his vision Will has gone on to win
7 awards in the past year, including 2017 Auckland International
Film Festival BEST DOCUMENTARY - Haka and Guitars, and 2017 World
Cinema Initiative (Cannes) WORLD PEACE FEATURE - Haka and Guitars.
For more information check out https://www.tmipictures.co.nz/bio
Digital Project Manager/Producer | Matt
Matt's passion for storytelling, language and education is a
huge asset to the team at TMI Pictures. He has previously worked
for TVNZ, Maori Television, TV3 and The Arts Channel in a number of
production roles including writer, researcher, camera operator and
video editor. He has also developed and facilitated workshops for
the Ministry of Education.
Production/Accounts Manager | Kat O'Kane
Kat is an environmentalist and humanitarian and is a huge
believer in our motto to "Touch, Move and Inspire". She is our
go-to person for accounts, admin support and people management.
After working and travelling around the world she has now settled
in Auckland and has been a key part of TMI Pictures ever since.
Marketing Manager | Liam O'Kane
Liam is a mover and a shaker coming from a Visual FX background.
He comes from Sydney, Australia and after receiving the Head of
School for Screen and Media Award upon graduating, he moved into a
production role with Cutting Edge, working on projects like
Underworld: Blood Wars (2016), Swinging Safari (2018) and the most
recent Winchester (2018). He is excited to come on board and branch
out to TMI's upcoming films.
WE'RE ALMOST THERE!
The shooting of Soldiers without Guns is complete, and we're
ready to purchase high res archive footage, and polish the film in
post. This is where is gets expensive! Your generous donations will
help us to cover these costs, including the studio assistance of a
professional colourist and sound team.
Thanks for your support and for being part of telling this
Soldiers Without Guns RNZ Interview
3 DAYS AGO
On the 'Lately' Show, being interviewed by Karyn Hay about our
upcoming film Soldiers Without Guns.
Guns from WW2 left on Bougainville archive
3 DAYS AGO
The Impact of War on Women
4 DAYS AGO
SOLDIERS WITHOUT GUNS shines a light on the special role that
women played in ending Bougainville's 10 year civil war. Alhough
they suffered greatly, they worked together to help create peace.
This story also highlights New Zealand's role in leading a
successful peaceful conflict resolution, where peacekeepers with no
weapons were deployed into hostile territory.
A Natural Island Paradise
4 DAYS AGO
People lived in their own natural environment - Bougainville was
The river became death
1 WEEK AGO
The catalyst for the fighting was a huge Australian mining
operation that destroyed the sacred land and broke the hearts of
the locals. There had been 14 failed peace attempts before New
Zealand sent in troops. Instead of taking guns to the war zone, the
soldiers took guitars and cultural understanding to create a
Will meets with musician Arli
1 WEEK AGO
Here's a little behind the scenes footage for you. Will Watson
meets with musician Arli Liberman. Arli was sharing his expertise
in soundscaping and music composition. Choosing the right music for
scenes in a film is a key part of creating engagement.
1 WEEK AGO
New Zealand led a peacekeeping mission into a war-zone in
Bougainville and goes in unarmed.
The land is our heartbeat
1 WEEK AGO
Hon Marcelline Kokiai - Central Bougainville Women's
Representative, shares about her people's connection to their
sacred land. The same land that was destroyed by the building of a
massive copper mine. The mine was the prelude to the civil that
followed. This scene is a raw clip from our rough cut, still in the
post production phase. Sound mix and colour grade is yet to
3 WEEKS AGO
Recently we celebrated the 20th Anniversary of lasting peace for
Bougainville - the 30 April 1998 was the signing of the peace
The other big news is that I completed the trailer for "Soldiers
Without Guns" - I hope you like it.
All the best,
Will Watson - Film Maker