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Australian actress Sarah Snook is set to narrate over heavily censored footage in an Aussie documentary, The Opposition, that will have its world premiere at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto on May 3.
Festival organizers on Friday told The Hollywood Reporter that the screen at the Bell Lightbox theater in Toronto will go dark, except for scrolling text and Snook’s voice work.
The heavy redaction of The Opposition follows the film being slapped with an Australian court injunction sought by former Papua New Guinea politician Carol Kidu. Snook will narrate the words of Kidu, who plays a major role in the film directed by Hollie Fifer and produced by indie Media Stockade.
Kidu’s image and dialogue will be removed from the film until the Australian court case is settled, including during additional Hot Docs screenings on May 5 and 7.
“We look forward to showcasing the redacted version of The Opposition and to the important conversation it will spark about the challenges documentary makers face,” Hot Docs programming director Shane Smith said Friday in a statement.
Kidu was granted the emergency injunction motion to stop parts of the film that show her from being screened at Hot Docs.
The Opposition portrays a David-and-Goliath battle over a squatter settlement that must make way for a hotel and marina development in Papua New Guinea. “The court action seeking to injunct The Opposition raises serious issues of freedom of speech,” the film’s producer Rebecca Barry said in her own statement.
“There are powerful forces who don’t want this film to be seen, but we believe that audiences should have the right to make up their own minds,” she added. The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, which got underway Thursday night, continues through May 8 in Toronto.
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