About the film

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Nothing happens up in the sky (Rien ne se fait dans le ciel)



Today in New Caledonia some Kanak clans live on reserves known as “customary lands”. These clans claim ownership of their ancestral lands usurped by France since its colonization of the archipelago.

The Kanak People’s Congress (CPCK) is fighting for the recognition of the rights of the island’s indigenous people and especially for the sovereignty of their traditional lands.

Nothing happens up in the sky (Rien ne se fait dans le ciel) follows the charismatic CPCK coordinator Roger Cho from his tribe, where he shares the life of his clan, to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. The CPCK has developed a project to build maps of ancestral and clan lands to support land claims lodged with institutions in New Caledonia, France and the United Nations.

The CPCK has based itself on the model of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 2007. The declaration is part of international rights that concerns all indigenous peoples on the planet.

Nothing happens up in the sky is shot in New Caledonia and Geneva. It gives voice to local actors; Kanak and representatives of institutions responsible for land redistribution who are trying to decipher the contradictions inherited from the colonial period.

The film also presents the actors at the United Nations involved in the struggle for the rights of indigenous people and examines the history of the indigenous peoples’ movement since the first indigenous peoples’ conference in Geneva in 1977.

It offers a broader view of, not just the Kanak struggle, but also the struggle faced today by indigenous people around the world whose lands have been colonized.



Nothing happens up in the sky reveals the many layers of struggle faced by a Kanak organization in post-colonial New Caledonia. It questions the legacy of colonial history marked by injustice and violence against the Kanaks.

Les Caldoches (descendants of French settlers) want to turn the page of colonialism and forget history. On the other hand, the Kanaks claim that their history must be recognized and demand justice and restitution.

Nothing happens up in the sky provides a documented insight into a situation that few people know. The film probably raises more questions than it provides answers. It does however give a voice to those who are rarely heard, and seeks explanations from people in positions of power. The film fosters an empathy with a people in struggle and offers an original perspective on their plight.



Roger Cho, Coordinator of The Kanak

People’s Congress (CPCK)

John Passa, Sociologist, Special Adviser to the Government of New Caledonia

Paul Cho, Terran dignitary (uncle Roger Cho)

Jean-François Nosmas, Director of ADRAF, Agence de développement rural et d’aménagement foncier (Agency for Rural Development and Land Management)

André Dang, CEO of Société minière du Sud Pacifique, SMSP (Mining company South Pacific)

Alain Levant, Mayor of the municipality of Kaala Gomen

Benoit Tangopi, survivor of the assault by the French army of the cave in 1988 Ouvea

Paul Wamo, slam poet and writer, Noumea

Isabelle Schulte Tenckhoff, Professor, Anthropology and Sociology of Development and Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Graduate Institute), Geneva

Sylvain Duez-Alesandrini, Committee of Solidarity with the Indians of the Americas (CSIA-Nitassinan)

Julian Burger, Former program manager of indigenous peoples and minorities High Commissioner for Human Rights United Nations

Florencine Edouard, Coordinator Organization of Indigenous Nations Guyana (Onag)


Film makers

Stéphane Pecorini: 48, Swiss, born in Geneva, film and video director and photographer.

Fabienne Gautier: 51, Swiss, born in Geneva, history teacher, film writer and editor.

With the collaboration of: Roger Cho: coordinator of The Kanak People’s Congress (CPCK)


Donate to The Kanak People’s Congress (CPCK)

IBAN : FR77 1415 8010 2200 1159 6M05 157