Chagos islanders' endless fight to return home

  • A co-production in development
  • Directed by Olivier Magis
  • Produced by Hanne Phlypo (Clin d'oeil films)


When the US military set its sights on the Chagos archipelago in the 1960s, the peaceful life the islanders had enjoyed for generations ended abruptly.

The British colonial government deported all inhabitants (up to 2,000) to make way for a vast US base on Diego Garcia, now infamous for rendition ‘black spots’ and the planes that shelled Baghdad.

The suffering and sorrow of the islanders, many of whom died of poverty and suicide in the slums of Mauritius, has been well-documented but never redressed. Now, as the 50-year military lease expires in 2016, the islanders claim they are going home.

This film takes us into the heart of the struggle, following Chagossian campaigner Sabrina Jean. In 2016 she not only faces the British government in the highest courts but will also take the battle to the football field: for the first tme, Chagos will compete in the stateless peoples’ world cup.


Top: B-1 accelerates for take-off during Operation Enduring Freedom. United States Air Force photograph by SrA Rebeca M. Luquin. Below: Group of Chagossian children before deportation. 

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