The Borneo Case

The Borneo Case

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    • Directed by: Erik Pauser & Dylan Williams
    • Released: 2017 (educational)
Running Time: 90 min
Language: English Subtitles.  English Closed Captions.
Subjects: Environmental Studies, Asian Studies, Anthropology



In The Borneo Case, documentary filmmakers Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams spend five years intimately following the trail of an unlikely group of activists whose aim is to investigate how profits from the illegal logging that has annihilated more than 90% of the Malaysian Borneo Rainforest, have been money laundered into property portfolios all around the world.

The group, made up of an exiled tribesman, a historian, an investigative journalist and a flamboyant DJ overcome death threats and intimidation in their efforts to unravel what has been dubbed “the Greatest Environmental Crime in History” (ex British Prime Minister Gordon Brown).

One of the weapons of the group is to start an illegal pirate radio station called Radio Free Sarawak. In a country where the government has complete control of the media, the radio station allows them for the first time to inform the people about what is really going on.


"In what amounts to a follow-up to the 1989 documentary Tong Tana, filmmakers Erik Pauser and Dylan Williams continue a story of perfidy and environmental devastation in the Malaysian Borneo rainforests. The previous film’s hero, Bruno Manser, a Swiss activist dedicated to saving the old-growth forests from uncontrolled logging and corporate natural-resource exploitation, disappeared in the Sarawak jungle in 2000, almost certainly murdered. His native partner-in-activism, Mutang Urud, lives in exile in Canada, and Borneo’s land continues to be plundered by multinationals, which also personally enriches the vast private fortune of longtime Chief Minister of the State Abdul Taib Mahmud, a champion of “modernization.” But faraway London-based grassroots activists, using the Internet and radio, bombard the people of Borneo with news and messages of resistance, and even Mahmud’s old American business partner turns informer. Eventually, the good-guy Davids triumph over the seeming Goliath of a dictator-for-life and powerful financial interests in this inspiring story of “people power” fueling an eco-victory and non-violently undermining a dirty regime. Recommended." - C. Cassady for Video Librarian