Short film shows democ­racy in ac­tion

Central Leader - - SPORT - HUGH COLLINS

‘‘Ac­tu­ally mak­ing this film wasmy form of ac­tivism and par­tic­i­pat­ing in it.’’

Two young film­mak­ers’ con­cerns about a lack of democ­racy in New Zealand has driven them to pro­duce a short film.

Beau­ti­ful Democ­racy ex­plores the art and ac­tivism around New Zealand’s pro-democ­racy move­ment as it seeks to stand up against the sign­ing of the Tran­sPa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment (TPPA).

The TPPA is a multi­na­tional trade deal which was signed in Auck­land on Fe­bru­ary 4 last year. On the day of sign­ing there were mass protests in cen­tral Auck­land with much of the CBD grind­ing to a halt as thou­sands of ac­tivists took to the streets.

Beau­ti­ful Democ­racy di­rec­tor Rose Archer said the idea for the pro­duc­tion came about from con­cerns with a lack of democ­racy around the TPP and the ‘‘po­ten­tial for the ero­sion of demo­cratic rights’’.

‘‘Par­tic­u­larly be­cause this does re­flect a larger in­ter­na­tional trend that we’ve seen over the last 40 years but it’s very dif­fi­cult to talk to peo­ple about and ex­plain so we wanted to find a very hu­man story to tell about this sub­ject,’’ Archer said.

‘‘What we re­alised is there’s ac­tu­ally a very strong prodemoc­racy anti-TPP move­ment in New Zealand largely made out of artists and also out of ac­tivists.’’

Shot over roughly six months, the film fol­lows three ac­tivist groups as they go about un­con- ven­tional ways of de­fend­ing their demo­cratic rights.

‘‘We re­ally wanted not only to high­light the re­ally won­der­ful work that’s hap­pen­ing on this com­mu­nity level but also to essen­tially call out the politi­cians whose job it is to work for democ­racy and what they’re do­ing re­ally is ex­actly the op­po­site of that.’’

The Ep­som res­i­dent said she would like the film to show­case to the older gen­er­a­tion how young peo­ple are in­volved and en­gaged in demo­cratic pro­cesses.

Pro­ducer Sandy Wi­je­tunge said she was in­spired to pur­sue the project out of frus­tra­tion for the current po­lit­i­cal sit­u­a­tion in New Zealand.

‘‘I just felt that there was no real way of peo­ple con­nect­ing and peo­ple just didn’t see the im­por­tance of get­ting in­volved in a demo­cratic sys­tem,’’ Wi­je­tunge said. Beau­ti­ful Democ­racy will be re­leased on­line on Jan­uary 25. Visit face­ beau­ti­fuldemoc­racy.


Beau­ti­ful Democ­racy pro­ducer Sandy Wi­je­tunge and di­rec­tor Rose Archer. Pro­ducer SandyWi­je­tunge

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