NIGHTMARE IN PARADISE
1992, 90 mins.
This video chronicles the recent political history of Sierra Leone, a small West African nation, rich in natural resources, which has been plagued by successive politically corrupt governments since its establishment as a republic in 1971. Following the 1992 overthrow by the Revolutionary United Front of the dictatorial regime of Joseph Saidu Momoh, African journalist Hilton Fyle returned to his native country to document these events.
This remarkable video features interviews with a wide cross-section of Sierra Leoneans, from present and former government officials to professionals and ordinary citizens, who testify to the numerous abuses of Momoh's one-party state, including arrests, beatings, killings, false trials and the burning of villages. The overall result was widespread government corruption and a devastated national economy. Despite the presence today of thousands of UN peacekeeping troops and an international financial campaign orchestrated by the U.S. to restore peace in the region, the political situation in Sierra Leone remains essentially the same since this documentary was completed.