The Rainbow Warriors Of Waiheke Island

“They kicked us out. We, whose future was to be decided. […] But we will fight on”, wrote Richard in the Greenpeace youth blog about the climate summit COP15 in Copenhagen.

Wherever the fight goes on, Greenpeace is on its guard. Whether it is nuclear waste scandals, whaling, rain forests or pesticides in the environment or in food – Greenpeace reveals the problems. Politics and business should react. However, the absent results of COP15 are typical of a long history of ignorance.

This story shows The Rainbow Warriors Of Waiheke Island in the proverbial nutshell. The film documents the voyages of the first Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior.

The vessel’s first mission took place against an Icelandic whaling fleet in 1978. Dramatic pictures of the Greenpeace rubber dinghy under harpoon attack are seen around the world; a heavy setback for the international whaling industry. Numerous missions follow against seal hunting, chemical and radioactive waste dumping.

In the 1980s, the Rainbow Warrior returns to the origins of Greenpeace in the peace movement of the 1960s. In 1985 the vessel heads for the French nuclear testing area in the Pacific Ocean and anchors in the harbour of Auckland. There, the Rainbow Warrior is sunk with two mines by the French secret service on 10th July. The photographer Fernando Pereira dies during this attack.

The montage of archive material of the Rainbow Warrior’s voyages combined with pictures of the present life of crew members gives emotional impact and depth to the film. For them too, everything is about finding the right way to keep fighting, just like for the young bloggers of COP15.
by Suzanne Raes Netherlands 2009 89’

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