Unforgotten Islands (Chagos Ou la Memoire des Iles), dir. Michel Daëron, France 2011, 83 min., French with English subtitles
In this documentary feature, first released in 2011, Michel Daëron (Atlantic Drift
) documents the story of the Chagossian people, expelled from their homeland by the British government so the US could establish a military base on their islands.
As Daëron’s film powerfully relates, the islanders were forced to survive in shanty towns in Mauritius and the Seychelles, with no prospect of ever returning to their homes. With international support, the Chagossians were eventually permitted to make supervised day-visits to some of the islands on boats provided by Britain – and Daëron is present to document one of the first such visits, with the islanders recalling their memories of the day when soldiers suddenly appeared in every home.
is screening alongside Another Paradise
, another film documenting the Chagossians’ plight, to mark the release of Natasha Soobramanien and Luke Williams’ new experimental novel Diego Garcia