This film is held by the BFI (ID: 62051).


The coconut palm kernel industry of the Solomon Islands; the lives of the Solomon Islanders and their recruitment to work for Lever Brothers. Re-edited from A ROMANCE OF INDUSTRY.

Main title and credit (41). Explanatory titles outlining European discovery of the Solomon Islands (72). Globe turns and focusses on the Islands (124). Titles explaining the British exploration of the Islands and establishment of a protectorate (181). Two children (brother and sister Colin and Dell Harrington) sit in a garden. The boy reads a book `The Solomon Islands and Their Natives by H.B. Guppy'; CU of book (195-200). They are joined by their mother and grandfather. The children (through intertitles) ask their grandfather if there are still cannibals and head-hunters on the Islands. The grandfather says no and that "through British Protection, Christianity and Commerce, the savages are being taught industry and progress". The little girls asks who teaches them and the grandfather replies "brave missionaries" and a "big world-wide concern" - Lever Brothers who make Sunlight Soap and use coconut oil (338). Explanatory titles detailing how large Lever Brothers are and how they purchased land for plantations (369). Pan of Gavutu Harbour (388). TS from ship of palm-fringed islands (394-400).

Solomon Island scenes: Village scenes, natives in a village; a man climbs a coconut tree (430). Solomon Islanders collect coconuts from the beach and sea (440-446). A man breaks off the husk of a nut with a pointed stick stuck in the ground; he opens another coconut - the milk spills out (452-471). A woman scrapes the white flesh of the coconut into a wooden dish (476-483). Megapodes (bush hens) running around in a large enclosure; two men dig for the eggs (which are buried three feet underground by the hens). The eggs form part of the Islanders' diet (491-516). Cooking fish on an open fire (520-534). CU of a young woman; a mother and child; and man with his wife; a man with two wives (578). A ceremonial dance: men and boys shuffle around in a large circle (584-597); two lines of men; each man carries a large spade-shaped leaf and waves it about slowly (607). Group shot of warriors dressed in their war attire (610-618). Village totems - sculptures in wood of womens' heads (627). A canoe with a large outrigger and a small hut precariously placed above. The hut is the home of the family who are on the canoe (633-643).

The recruitment of the Islanders to work on the plantations: pan of Gavutu Harbour, as seen before ( 654-661); harbour scenes; a boat sails on a journey around the islands to recruit the men (686). The ship's cook (an Islander) at work (688-700). While the officials negotiate with the chiefs (not seen) another official climbs a tree to keep a watch for unfriendly natives. Recruits arrive by row boat and canoes (762). Islanders line up for inspection by a government official (768-794). Medical inspection (794-809). The recruits sign up for two years' service by touching the end of a pencil held by a Lever Brothers' official (816-828). Identity discs are issued to the men (831-842). The family group as seen in the opening of the film (844-870ft).




Technical Data

Film Gauge (Format):
35mm Film
870 ft

Production Credits

Production Countries:
Lever Brothers
Production Company
Sovereign Films