On May 11 at Tanna Cine, Wan Smolbag is releasing two new films. ‘Rainbow’ is a film about Rainbow Disability Theatre, a group of 20 disabled actors who have been making plays since 2011.


The group was formed as a joint venture between WSB and the Vanuatu Disabled People society. Francis Ruru, one of the lynch pins of the group, has been an actor in WSB since the middle nineties and his dream was to help his friends with disabilities to become actors. He moved over to join them full time in 2012.

The group has toured the islands delighting and amazing audiences, who had previously thought that disabled people couldn’t do anything. The enormous courage the group have and the difficulties they face touring are shown in the film, as well as the incredible effect the group has on people with disabilities and those who live with them.

This amazing group all work on a voluntary basis, although Wan Smolbag has managed to give them funds for some touring and rehearsals as well as providing them with a base and a director and scriptwriter. Other NGO’s like World Vision have used them to promote disability rights as well as disaster preparedness and WASH issues.


‘Talemaot’ deals with an issue that we don’t like to think about.. rape. Last year we had a visit from the correctional department to ask us to run a workshop with violent sexual offenders. The correctional officer talked about how the detainees blamed women for rape and how a number of the rapes they had committed were actually planned. They wanted us to try and make men see the effect of what they had done in the workshop. From this came the idea to make the film. In the film we hear some of the excuses men make about rape… the woman was out at night on her own; she was wearing the wrong clothes; or she wanted sex. This film aims to dispel these beliefs and look at the devastating effect rape has on a woman’s life.
The film was not an easy one to make, and the rape scene itself was harrowing for the actress and the crew. Half way through the filming of the rape scene the actress broke down and could not go on, but there was still another angle to shoot. At that point, the actual horror of a real rape was apparent to everyone on the set. It seemed terrible we had to carry on shooting, but Helen said she would do it despite the trauma it was causing her. ‘Men need to understand this’ said Helen Kailo, ‘they need to feel the pain and fear woman go through.’
Wan Smolbag hopes that this film will help women who have been raped talk to other women, and help men understand what rape does to women.

Wan Smolbag is core funded by Australian Aid, New Zealand AID and Oxfam.

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