Stealing a Nation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Radio 4 album, see Stealing of a Nation.
Stealing a Nation
Screenshot of title card
Directed by John Pilger
Christopher Martin
Sean Crotty
Produced by Christopher Martin
Polly Bide
Written by John Pilger
Starring John Pilger
James R. Schlesinger
Cassam Uteem
Bill Rammell
Mark Curtis
Louis Olivier Bancoult
Music by Nicholas Russell-Pavier
Cinematography Preston Clothier
Edited by Joe Frost
Running time 56 min
Language English

Stealing a Nation is a 2004 Granada Television documentary written and directed by John Pilger, produced and directed by Christopher Martin and with reconstruction footage directed by Sean Crotty. The documentary is about the expulsion of Chagossians from the Chagos Archipelago, chiefly from Diego Garcia Island, forcibly removed by the British government between 1967 and 1973 to Mauritius, 1,000 miles away, so that the island could be used as an American and British airbase.[1][2]


In the 1960s and 70s, British governments, conspiring with American officials, tricked into leaving, then expelled the entire population of the Chagos islands in the Indian Ocean. The aim was to give the principal island of this Crown Colony, Diego Garcia, to the Americans who wanted it as a major military base. Indeed, from Diego Garcia US planes have since bombed Afghanistan and Iraq. The story is told by islanders who were dumped in the slums of Mauritius and in the words of the British officials who left a 'paper trail' of what the International Criminal Court now describes as 'a crime against humanity'.


  • James SchlesingerUS Secretary of Defence 1973–1975
  • Cassam Uteem – former President of Mauritius
  • Bill Rammell MP – Foreign Office Minister
  • Professor David Stoddart – University of California, Berkeley
  • Robin Mardemootoo – Lawyer for Chagos Islanders
  • Richard Gifford – Lawyer for Chagos Islanders
  • Marcel Mouline – Chagos Islands plantation manager
  • Andrew Stuart – Foreign Office 1965–1983
  • Mark Curtis – Author, Web of Deceit
  • Olivier Bancoult – Leader, Chagos Refugees Group
  • Marie Lisette Talate
  • Charlesia Alexis
  • Rita Bancoult
  • Louis Onezine

Awards and festival screenings[edit]

  • The Chris Award, Columbus International Film and Video Festival
  • Best Single Documentary, The Royal Television Society Programme Awards
  • United Nations Association Film Festival, Stanford
  • Silver Lake Film Festival

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Stealing a Nation". Bullfrog Films. Retrieved 2010-06-11. 
  2. ^ "Stealing a Nation". Retrieved 2010-06-11. [dead link]