Engage Aotearoa

Category Archives: Documentary

Rewi Alley Exibition Uxbridge Gallery Howisk 18 May – 7 June 2012

An exhibition of Photographs of Rewi Alley in China will be held at the Uxbridge Gallery, 35 Uxbridge Road, Howick, Auckland, from 18 May to 6 June 2012.


Rewi Alley is a compelling figure in New Zealand history being the most famous New Zealander in China.  He contributed perhaps more than any other foreigner to the Chinese revolution and is officially recognized by the Chinese government as “A Friend of China” –  a rare honour bestowed by China on foreigners.


2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand.  As New Zealand’s links with China strengthen in contemporary times this exhibition memorializes Rewi Alley’s contribution to Sino-NZ friendship.


You may also be interested in the following programmes which the gallery are offering while this exhibition is on:


21st May – A Screening of the film – “Gung HO – Rewi Alley in China” – Uxbridge Gallery, 8.00pm (Please phone 5356467 to book)


2nd June – Insights into the Exhibition – Uxbridge Gallery 11.00am


Free ‘Operation 8’ Film Screening 17 May 2012

Details of this week’s free doco from the University of Auckland’s Cinema Politica series. It’s a NZ one!

  • When: 6pm, Thursday 17 May
  • Where: Room 225, Continuing Education Building, cnr Eden Cres and Short St, Auckland Central
  • Film: Operation 8 (2011, 110 mins)
  • Directors: Errol Wright and Abi King-Jones

Synopsis: On October 15 2007, activists around New Zealand woke to guns in their faces. Black-clad police smashed down doors, dragging families out onto roads and detaining some without food or water. Houses were ransacked and “evidence” confiscated. In the small rural village of Ruatoki, helicopters flew overhead while locals were stopped at roadblocks, their photos taken and their cars searched. Those arrested were interrogated and then imprisoned for four weeks. The War on Terror had arrived in Aotearoa. Over 300 police raided around 60 houses throughout the country. Operation 8 had involved 18 months of invasive surveillance of Maori sovereignty and peace activists accused of attending terrorist training camps in the Urewera bush – homeland of the Tuhoe people.

All welcome!

Free Film at University of Auckland 10 May 2012 6 pm

Details of Cinema Politica this week:

  • Film: Grace, Milly, Lucy… Child Soldiers (2010, 73 mins)
  • Director: Raymonde Provencher (Canada)
  • When: 6pm, Thursday 10 May
  • Where: Room 225, Continuing Education Building, cnr of Eden Crescent and Short Street

Synopsis: Over the past twenty years, more than 30,000 Ugandan children have been abducted by rebel troops and forced into in armed conflict. Many of these child soldiers are girls. Grace, Milly, Lucy… Child Soldiers explores this little-known reality.  When they return from captivity, girls who were trained to kill and often forced to “marry” their captors must readjust to life within their community. Clinging to their dreams, Grace, Milly and Lucy are trying to restore meaning to their lives and break the silence surrounding the fate of a sacrificed generation.

All welcome

Call for Govt Recognition of Past Abuse in Psychiatric Institutions

Sign the on-line petition: An Acknowledgment of historic injustice against former patients of NZ psychiatric hospitals

Between July 2005 and April 2007 a Confidential Forum was held for former In-patients of psychiatric hospitals. Over 400 former patients spoke about their experiences. The final report of the Confidential Forum Te Aiotonga (2007, available from the Department of Internal Affairs) outlines the themes that emerged including occurrences of physical violence and sexual misconduct; and de-humanising environments. The report remains formally unacknowledged by the government.

A United Nations report on New Zealand’s compliance with the UN convention against torture in 2009 recommended that the NZ government should take appropriate measures to ensure that allegations of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment in the “historic cases” are investigated promptly and impartially, perpetrators duly prosecuted, and the victims accorded redress, including adequate compensation and rehabilitation.”

Phoenix Group, a Wellington group of people who have experienced mental distress are using the publicity surrounding the release of Jim Marbrook’s Mental Notes to call on the government to make a formal apology.

How can you help? 

Print this postcard and send it to parliament – and give a copy to a friend so they can do the same. Postage is free. 

confidential forum protest postcard for print

And share this notice around!


Ma te whakatau, ka mohio

When we are shown, we come to know

Ma te mohio, ka marama

When we know, we come to understand

Ma te marama, ka ora ai tatou

When we understand, we all achieve wellness

Free Film: Culture Jam 26 April 6pm

The University of Auckland’s Cinema Politica series is starting up again now that the mid-semester break is over.

Details of this week’s free documentary screening:

  • When: Thursday 26 April, 6pm
  • Where: 1-10 Short Street, Continuing Education Building, Room 225
  • Film: Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture (2002, 57 mins). Director: Jill Sharpe (Canada)

Synopsis: A new breed of revolutionary stands poised along our information highways waging war on logos and symbols. They’re “Culture Jammers” and their mission is to artfully reclaim our mental environment and cause a bit of brand damage to corporate mindshare. Director Jill Sharpe’s subversively savvy one-hour documentary film – culturejam – Hijacking Commercial Culture- bursts our last bubble of illusion about free speech in public space and gives us spanking brand-new hope at the same time.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.cinemapolitica.org/screening/auckland/culture-jam-hijacking-commercial-culture

Every week Cinema Politica screens a different free documentary. All are open to the public so feel free to bring family/friends along too!

Like Minds Newsletter

Like Minds Like Mine are happy to present you the latest Like Minds newsletter – this time they take a look at mental distress on campus, how stigma and discrimination in tertiary education can be combated and how to reduce stress and anxiety while studying.

Like Minds encourages you to participate in The Big reTHiNK and find out more about the What’s on your Plate? exhibition.

Meet Te Ariki, who talks about his journey through mental illness, and Wairarapa couple Shane Egan and Joanne Lind-Egan who tell us how they support one another.

Filmmaker Jim Marbrook shares his latest project, Mental Notes, and Like Minds mental health promoter Vaea Hutchen explains how she is helping to shift attitudes with women’s refuges in the South Island.

You are welcome to email your feedback and story ideas to likeminds@mentalhealth.org.nz and subscribe here.

Art Events Update from Toi Ora

1.    “Mental Notes” Premiere at World Cinema Showcase – Saturday 31 March 2012 at 6:00pm

“Mental Notes” is a feature-length documentary from award-winning filmmaker Jim Marbrook which weaves together testimonials of five survivors from the “very bad old days of mental health care in New Zealand”.  One of those interviewed is Toi Ora alumnus and “Blue Messiah” author Peter Finlay. “Mental Notes” premiere screening on Saturday 31 March at 6pm at Rialto Newmarket, Auckland.  “Mental Notes” at World Cinema Showcase – http://worldcinemashowcase.co.nz/mentalnotes.html. “Mental Notes” trailer – http://vimeo.com/38674385

2.    “Recent Work” by Life Drawers of Toi Ora – Thursday 5 April to Friday 4 May 2012

Toi Ora’s Thursday morning class of Face & Figure Drawing, tutored by Shannon McKewen, is a bit of an institution.  Now you get to see why with a selection of this class’s Summer term output on display in our gallery.

Opening night is on Thursday 5 April, 4pm onward at Toi Ora Gallery, 6 Putiki Street, Grey Lynn.

END OF TERM SPECIAL:  Opening night will also see the return of Toi Ora’s legendary end-of-term soirees so brace yourself for music from our house band, the inimitable Toi Ora Express, and nibbles and drinks to celebrate.

3.    Toi Ora feature in “Open Door” on TV3 – Saturday 7 April 2012 at 10:25am

Morningside Productions’ “Open Door” series turns its attention to Toi Ora – “a unique creative space in the heart of Auckland city for adults who have experienced mental illness”.  In this episode, the show meets some of the artists who have been helped to realise their artistic potential in an environment where the mental health ‘label’ is put aside.

Toi Ora “Open Door” episode screens on TV3 on Saturday 7 April at 10:25am.

4.    Extra Gentle Reminders

a.    FINAL DAYS!  MUST SEE!  Richard McConnochie and Chris Leavins’ “Paintings” exhibition at Toi Ora Gallery, Grey Lynn extended until Tuesday 3 April 2012.

a.    “What’s On Your Plate?” group exhibition with James King at Papakura Art Gallery, Papakura until Saturday 7 April 2012.

b.    Andrew Blythe “New Works” exhibition at Corban Estate Art Centre, Henderson until Sunday 15 April 2012.

Director of Mental Notes Radio Interview 27 March 2012

Mental health radio Take It From Us brings you details about the latest documentary movie about psychiatric New Zealand, which launches this Saturday. Guest Jim Marbrook, producer and director of Mental Notes, a movie about the country’s psychiatric “bins,” talks about “the bad old days of mental health care in New Zealand,”  and the stigma linked to it.

Mental Notes launches at Rialto, Newmarket, this Saturday @ 6pm.

Listen live on 104.6FM at 12.30pm or online www.planetaudio.org.nz

OR if you missed the broadcast, listen for the next seven days @: www.planetaudio.org.nz/takeitfromus

Catch up on the last four shows online: www.likeminds.org.nz

And don’t forget our new Facebook page @ Facebook.com and type take it from us in the search box; our email is takeitfromus@mail.com for any feedback and comment/suggestions for shows.

World Cinema Showcase: Mental Notes

The Like Minds, Like Mine team at Mind and Body Consultants is extremely excited to announce that Mental Notes will be screening in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch as part of the World Cinema Showcase.

Mental Notes is the latest documentary from Jim Marbrook, who received a 2011 reTHiNK Grant to help bring this powerful film to the New Zealand public.

_ _ _ _ _


Documentary gives voice to psychiatric hospital survivors

The secret, often shameful history of New Zealand’s psychiatric hospitals is laid bare in Mental Notes, a new feature-length documentary by award-winning filmmaker Jim Marbrook.

Screening as part of the upcoming World Cinema Showcase, Mental Notes is a “gently affirmative” film, according to Bill Gosden, director of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

Featuring the testimony of five survivors of the “very bad old days of mental health care in New Zealand”, it “honours their endurance and enables their stories to emerge from the shadows and leave their indelible blemishes on our social history,” says Gosden.

Jim Marbrook’s interest in the subject was prompted by earlier work he’d done with people who’d experienced mental health difficulties, much of which he drew on for his award-winning 2005 documentary Dark Horse.

“I realised there was a kind of hidden social history in the memories of those who went through our old mental institutions, colloquially called ‘the Bins’,” says Marbrook. “These stories were so strong I realised I needed to find a way of telling them.”  With a grant from the Frozen Funds Trust, Marbrook undertook a three-year odyssey during which he crisscrossed the country, visiting every ‘Bin’ ever built, ploughing through mountains of archival material, and interviewing survivors of what was an often inhumane system. The interviews, in which former patients recall their experiences with (in Gosden’s words) “dismay, disbelief and a touch of gallows humour”, form the heart of the film.

One of these survivors is Anne Helm, who observes that “for many, the path to healing is about accepting that things have happened”.  In 2005 Helm served as a panel member of a Government-appointed confidential forum for former patients that heard corroborated evidence of poor practice and abuse in the old psychiatric hospitals.

“The saddest thing about doing the Confidential Forum for me,” says Helm, “was that at the end of that process, where people gave so much of their souls, really, we made a very thorough report.

“That report was given to the Government in a real hope that there would be some formal recognition and there never has been.”

Mental Notes enables the voices of people too long ignored to finally be heard. It also provides a prism through which the success or failure of today’s mental health services can be judged.

About the World Cinema Showcase

From the organisers of the New Zealand International Film Festival, the World Cinema Showcase is an annual collaboration between the NZ Film Festival Trust and enterprising exhibitors in Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin and Christchurch. Now in its 14th year, the Showcase screens an important mix of intelligent features and documentaries in Auckland (from 29 March), Wellington (5 April), Dunedin (19 April), and Christchurch (26 April).

World Cinema Showcase session details for Mental Notes:

  • Please note the venues in which Mental Notes is playing have limited seats, so booking tickets well in advance is advised to avoid disappointment.


→   Saturday 31 March, 6pm, Rialto Newmarket [click here to book for this session]

→   Sunday 1 April, 1:50 pm, Rialto Newmarket [click here to book for this session]

→   Monday 2 April, 11:30am, Rialto Newmarket [click here to book for this session]

→   Sunday 8 April, 4 pm, Bridgeway Cinema [click here to book for this session]


→   Friday 20 April, 12pm, Paramount Cinema [click here to book for this session]

→   Saturday 21 April, 6 pm, Paramount Cinema [click here to book for this session]


→   Monday 23 April, 6:15 pm, Regent Theatre

→   Tuesday 24 April, 11:15am, Regent Theatre [click here for Regent bookings]


→   Saturday 5 May, 5:30 pm, Hollywood Theatre

→   Monday 7 May, 12 pm, Hollywood Theatre [click here for Hollywood bookings]

Documentary Series Seeks Subjects

Neighbourhood is a new 35 part factual television series that takes the viewer on a journey through the diverse ethnic communities that make up Aotearoa today.

Funded by NZ On Air for TVNZ, each half hour episode is presented by a different New Zealander.

He or she will be a well-known face, be it in the arts, media, science or sport with a real connection and opinion on their own cultural identity.

They will spend each episode in their own Neighbourhood, opening the door on their own diverse community for all to share.

As the presenter or “curator” navigates the neighbourhood, each episode will feature four separate “strands” to cover topics that are relevant to our minority communities. These will stand alone as follows:

  • Treasure: the examination of a precious object, resource or similar, of cultural significance to someone currently residing in the neighbourhood
  • Dish:  an exploration of one culture’s relationship to food, again contributed by a resident of the neighbourhood
  • Create: profiles the innovative work of an artist/performer who draws on their cultural background. Again, they would live or work within the relevant neighbourhood.
  • Voice: investigating social/political/current issues as diverse as equal opportunities, isolation, health, language, religion.

In a departure from the more traditional magazine-style format  Neighbourhood will be produced in a documentary-style allowing the interviewees to tell their own stories in the first person – to convey their individual perspectives in their own unique voice.

Neighbourhood embraces the everyday – the special rituals, belongings and experiences –  as well as tackling the hard stuff.

It’s a series about community diversity that is relevant to all New Zealanders.

At the moment they are looking for people in neighbourhoods around the country to be part of the series.


  1. Onehunga (TBC)
  2. Glen Innes (TBC)
  3. Albany
  4. Waiheke Island
  5. Flatbush
  6. Hillsborough
  7. Ponsonby
  8. Massey (TBC)
  9. Manurewa
  10. Sandringham
  11. Northcote
  12. Te Atatu
  13. Grey Lynn
  14. Auckland CBD
  15. Owairaka
  16. Henderson
  17. Mangere (TBC)
  18. Browns Bay (TBC)
  19. Ellerslie (TBC)
  20. New Lynn (TBC)
  21. Three Kings


  1. Khandallah
  2. Te Aro


  1. Hornby
  2. Papanui


  • Contact: Angelique Kasmara, Researcher, Neighbourhood TV Series, Satellite Media
  • Phone: +64 9 370 0335 | 021 116 2659
  • Fax: +64 9 378 4811
  • angelique@satellitemedia.co.nz | angeliquekasmara@gmail.com
  • Physical: Level 1, 160 Ponsonby Rd, Ponsonby, Auckland 1011
  • Postal: PO Box 90736, AMSC, Auckland 1142