Saturday, August 05, 2006

1981: Patu

AMANDLA!
AMANDLA!
AMANDLA NGA WHETHU!
AMANDLA NGA WHETHU!

I went to see Patu! last night, the documentary about the resistence to the Springbok tour. I feel mean talking about it - because getting hold of a copy - particularly the copy we watched is very hard (the rights are all tied up, but hopefully it will become more widely available), but if you can get your hands on a copy then do it now. It is a great documentary, and certainly my favourite New Zealand film.

Of course the ideal thing to do is watch it with a group of people who will get into it with you. I didn't actually join in the chants while I was watching the movie, but I came pretty close - and there was lots of cheering (and some hissing - Donna Awatere makes an appearance).

One point the movie made really well, was how much work a movement like that requires a huge amount of work. There's a fantastic scene in the Auckland office where they're creating and folding leaflets (on a gestetner! I am aware that technology is a godsend for activists) they talked about having distributed 100,000 leaflets that day. In some way the footage before the Springboks arrived was my favourite, because it's that organising work that I admire and value. There were lots of signs about what a vibrant movement the anti-tour movement was - the big ones for me was the kids. There were heaps of kids all over the place early in the movie. Any movement that excludes children also excludes parents (at least mothers) - to me the kids showed the depth of the movement.

The other main thing that I thought while watching the movie, was that I didn't really understand the tactics. Lines of protesters kept walking into police batons, and I couldn't figure out why. I can understand why you would stay still for that violence if there was something to defend (if they'd tried to attack on the field in Hamilton, for example), but most of the time protesters were attacking with tactics that would never win. I didn't understand that. I couldn't help but worry about people - PTSD was a lot less understood 25 years ago, and I don't imagine there would have been many avenues to get help anyway.

Beg, borrow or steal a copy I tell you.

4 comments:

  1. Having struggled past the missing punctuation and highly idiosyncratic spelling of the above comment, I'd like to offer the following:

    1. I also knew a few people who were along because there was a chance of aggro with the cops. They would have punched out anyone stupid enough to describe them as "protestors."

    2. When it came to causing internal trouble within NZ, how could we possibly go past the NZRFU and R.D. Muldoon?

    3. Given that Muldoon's govt was an utter disaster for NZ, surely people trying to get rid of it should be given some kind of retrospective award, rather than have their reputation sullied by anonymous illiterates?

    4. How much compassion do you feel for the protestors who got the shit kicked out of them by cops and irate sports fans, anon? Feel free to tell us just how bad you feel about that...

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  2. Psycho...What comment are you referring to?

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  3. Maia often deletes the more insulting comments she gets - the one I responded to seems to have suffered this fate.

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  4. Russell Lee3:58 pm

    If by some chance you happen to live in Wellington, you can see Patu at the Film Archive on Taranaki Street for free. If you have a small group and give them some advance notice you can watch it on a largish screen in a litle room all to yourselves.

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