Short film shows democracy in action
‘‘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 facebook.com/ beautifuldemocracy.
Beautiful Democracy producer Sandy Wijetunge and director Rose Archer. Producer SandyWijetunge