Waiting for John

‘Waiting for John’ tells the story of America’s extraordinary impact on one remote island in the South Pacific and explores the last surviving cargo cult, the John Frum Movement.

If you had never heard of an airplane or a refrigerator, would you think it a miracle when you first saw one? When the American military landed on a remote island in the South Pacific during World War II, the islanders were amazed by America’s fantastic cargo – planes, trucks, canned food. They thought such goods could only come from the Gods. Led by the mysterious prophet John Frum, a religion was born.

The John Frum movement still exists in one village on the island of Vanuatu. ‘Waiting for John’ explores this extraordinary religion from the perspective of the last villagers as they stuggle to preserve their way of life in the face of outside pressure and internal conflict. In the process, it asks ‘where do our prophets come from’? And what makes people believe?


  • Year: 2015
  • Duration: 56 & 85 mins
  • Production:
  • Director: Jessica Sherry
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: USA



  • Hawaï International Film Festival (USA); Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (USA); Maoriland Film Festival (New Zealand); Ethnografilm Festival Paris (France); Johns Hopkins Film Festival (Maryland, USA); Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival (Estonia); FIFO 2017, International Oceanian Documentary Film Festival (Tahiti); Spirituality and Consciousness Festival 2018 (Porto Alegre, Brazil)

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