Never Give Up is a moving story of community worker Gina Baidam from Serimambu village three hours by boat from Daru in the Western Province. We learn about the difficulties that pregnant women in this remote village face and Gina’s ambition to change the situation for women and families in Severimabu. Don’t Give Up is an important film for PNG, sharing the struggles that pregnant mothers face in remote communities.
Ruth Ketau is from the Eastern Highlands Province. She was trained as a filmmaker through the Skul Bilong Wokim Piksa, the PNG film school that existed during the 80s. Since then Ruth has been passionate about filmmaking. Ruth has been worked as a film editor with the National Film Institute for almost 17 years. She has made numerous films such as “The Last Real Man” about initiation rituals in the Bena community. She also recently directed a documentation about the current governor of Eastern Highlands Julie Soso. Ruth’s focus is on capturing traditional practices and preserving culture through the film medium.
I really admire Gina’s role in her community and I felt that it was an important film to make. The film showcases the challenges and difficulties that women in remote PNG communities face. Gina’s strong determination and her strength give us hope that we can take things with our own hands and impact change. But we understand that it is not an easy journey for Gina.
Filming on the Fly River was also a challenge to the film crew. In a way we experienced first hand what it means to live in these harsh conditions. The difficult weather conditions and having to travel long distances by boat made us experience these difficulties. I wanted to bring all these challenges out in the film. Maternal health is an important issue in PNG, and I hope that Never Give Up can contribute to our understanding of the challenges of living in remote PNG communities.