Later I showed the first episode of Hope and Wire to a colleague for his reaction.
“It’s like they are raping the city,” he said. “And what shocking acting. I’m off home now, I’ll wade through old-school stereotypes and several skirmishes with skinheads to get there.”
Sorry, Ian, I’ve emailed both Vicki and The Press to say I found that analogy not only grossly excessive, but downright offensive and tone deaf on the day Christchurch’s only rape crsis callout service closed. I don’t have words, only a rigidly extended middle finger.
As usual, Creon nails the culture. But for me it's the politics or at least the lack of political traction; in Wellington last week it became apparent that nobody, esp the journo's and pollies gets the Anger. The visceral fury of Christchurch citizens. At Rik Tau's tangi
at Tuahiwi today, the Marae was a sparkling (and lovely, wonderful) contrast to those of 10,000s of us yet to finalise the scope of works let alone get a payout or a fixed house (& so, so much worse, which people are enduring down here in their 1000s,; I don't know how) And Wellington seemed to be completely oblivious to the reason for our silence. That Brownlee and his powers mean we cannot speak since he hold the purse strings for each and every rebuild. If you think that this is paranoia, you're not from Christchurch... God how I wish for an opposition in Parliament that gave a shit about Christchurch, and would hold Cabinet to account for its failure to replace the failed experiment of using as a linch pin a Minister who seems of incapable of building relationships with the city, let alone assisting with that rebuild. Let's make it really clear, Auckland or Wellington have more cranes in their CBDs than we do down here.
People have and continue to do amazing things down here, but the failure of the political machinery to do justice to those people leaves me without words... He aha te mea nui ....
God how I wish for an opposition in Parliament that gave a shit about Christchurch, and would hold Cabinet to account
A functional opposition would be morally decent, yes. Apparently they have other priorities.
... I found that analogy not only grossly excessive, but downright offensive...
Coming from a master practitioner of the 'excessive and gross analogy'
I find that rather rich.
You don't think that this witty little riposte...
... “bugger the pollsters with a well-lubricated horse cock, we’re in this to win it.”
and many like it ...might not be triggering and offensive for some?
Take your rage out on those who withdrew the rape crisis centre's funding.
With that I agree.
Think of the greatest trauma you have experienced. Think of people who have experienced similar things, and people who haven’t. The common experience binds us together in a way, and sets us apart from people who haven’t, no matter how good their intentions or how strong their empathy and their attempts to understand. It’s not something we chose, or something we cling to, it’s just the way things are.
I see what you are saying.
Watching 'Hope and Wire' last night filled me with mixed emotions. As I said earlier, I admire a lot of Gaylene's work but I'm just not sure about this one. The integration of the documentary footage was skillful but contentious. It was very familiar to me as I had carefully viewed much of it while editing 'When A City Falls' and deciding with Gerard Smyth and co-editor Richard Lord what we would use in the doco. We had long discussions about the ethics of using this footage (especially those shots that showed the retrieval of bodies from the rubble) and how it might impact on the families and friends of those pictured. It was a fine line that we didn't want to cross but we were also driven by the need to show how deadly those quakes were. Using that footage in a drama is a whole new dilemma that I'm pleased not to have had to deal with - those are real people's traumas up against a bunch of actors pretending to be traumatised. The only way around it would have been to recreate everything in which case the $5 million budget would fall well short. I'm also sympathetic to criticism that the series was predominantly crewed and cast with non-Cantabrians - it was inevitable I suppose and hopefully a rewarding experience for those brought in but was it the best way to go? Gerard asked me (an Aucklander) to help because of my experience and track record and I agreed without hesitation. As soon as the February quake struck I had wanted to go down and volunteer for the clean-up but work commitments kept me away so helping with the post production was a wonderful opportunity to contribute. Apart from myself and cameraman Jake Bryant (whose Mum lives in Christchurch) everyone else who worked on the doco was local and having to deal with the stress of 'the new normal.' I was there for two months and my connection to the city which was fairly fleeting in the past, strengthened considerably. When I first got down there we all watched 'When the Levees Broke' - Spike Lee's masterful four part requiem to the Hurricane Katrina disaster - searching for inspiration and possible ways forward with the heap of material we had to work with. Although it was great to get 'When A City Falls' into cinemas, we did consider making a longer form version which would incorporate the recovery and rebuilding of the city. I now sort of wish we had, given the ongoing struggle faced by many whose previous way of life has been destroyed. Maybe that would have been more meaningful than a drama series, not just for Cantabrians but for the whole country.
Seems a shame you’ll never know how right- or wrong- you are
Hey Rob. But perhaps, koan-like, I can find peace in that perpetual state of unknowing :)
To be honest, I actually feel a genuine fear of being triggered -- not because of the quake stuff, for god's sake, but because it might set off memories of the last piece of nz drama I watched, Top of the Lake, which has to be one of the strongest contenders we've seen, since Russian Ark eclipsed Eyes Wide Shut, for recipient of the much-sought-after Worst Piece of Over-rated Shit in History award.
return to sender...
If the intention was to send a 'postcard 'from the broken heart of Chchch to the rest of New Zealand, so people could 'experience' our 'story' I would rather redirect them to New Brighton musician and artist Blair Parkes' excellent 'Chimney Book' video, hosted on NZ on Screen, (and commissioned to public fulfilment by Russell for a Public Address Great Blend in 2011), and to 'When a City Falls' ...
... who will get to make the expose of just what has gone down in the wake of these events, remains to be seen, even if we will be allowed to talk about it is moot...
I'm sure that Hope and Wire probably won't get too deep into the Government's hard heartedness, intransigence and culpability, otherwise they would have stopped its broadcast this close to an election!
It was a fine line that we didn’t want to cross but we were also driven by the need to show how deadly those quakes were.
I reckon you all did an amazing work that showed respect and empathy.
The bigger film would be great, and there's lots of time to do it. If the funding is available now such a big project has been covered.
One that I share, from a distance, I cried. Ian, you bastard, you owe me a hanky…
I was not there, I did not suffer, I felt powerless, those that had the power did nothing, we have all been cheated, they were our representatives we gave them the power.
I think it is good that we have been given the opportunity and the impetus to have this discussion so close to such an important election.
It is TV fur fucksake.... but things need to be said and heard...
I will now down a large Scotch and toast the people of Christchurch...
To the people who really have little idea how much they have been shafted by those with the power to help.
Coming from a master practitioner of the ‘excessive and gross analogy’
I find that rather rich.
I’ve seen many many television shows I didn’t like for all kinds of reasons.
And I’ve been raped.
One of these things is not even a little bit like the other.
And please feel free to denounce me as a crass and vulgar potty mouth -- wouldn't be the first time, and as often as not it's deserved. But I don't treat rape as a "joke" or some rhetorical flourish, and I really wish people would cut it the fuck out.
Kids in a band would have made more interesting characters than a crooked lawyer.
Like these dudes maybe:
That Brownlee and his powers mean we cannot speak since he hold the purse strings for each and every rebuild. If you think that this is paranoia, you’re not from Christchurch
I have been wondering why the anger doesn't show much cos I have been angry. When I see the likes of Ruth Dyson asking Brownlee questions of Chch in the House, his dismissive response (and they are always there) make me want to vomit(all over him).
Paula fuknuckle Benefit said the Rape Crisis callout service shutting had issues which was her reason for cutting the funding. Issues? Of course there are issues. It was the only service in Chch. And now it's gone. Her "nothing to see here, move along", attitude is another person that makes me sick. Labour have been asking questions in the House for Cantabrians. Nactional wont answer them. This sorry lamearse Nactional
we did consider making a longer form version which would incorporate the recovery and rebuilding of the city. I now sort of wish we had, given the ongoing struggle faced by many whose previous way of life has been destroyed. Maybe that would have been more meaningful than a drama series, not just for Cantabrians but for the whole country.
Yes, this sounds more respectful to me. Thank you Ken Sparks for your work and comments above. You just answered many questions for me. Maybe you can go back and work with the effects of a Chch rebuild? That could even bring this Government to account.
Although it was great to get ‘When A City Falls’ into cinemas, we did consider making a longer form version which would incorporate the recovery and rebuilding of the city. I now sort of wish we had, given the ongoing struggle faced by many whose previous way of life has been destroyed. Maybe that would have been more meaningful than a drama series, not just for Cantabrians but for the whole country.
More on-the-ground documentary would be a huge help to Chch peeps. Big ups to Campbell Live for what they've done, but would also be good to see a longer view of the continuing struggles of Cantabrians. As it turned out , the natural disaster was just the beginning.
@Sofie @Lilith: Where the hell would you start and make it watchable? I have no idea.
You could use a shaking camera effect and that could then move sometimes into breaking the fourth wall, which may tie it together better.
Oh, I was talking about the constant tremors not being in the drama
As for another look at the rebuild, An ongoing fly on the wall look at the struggles faced daily with some number crunching to show impact on the whole community would be a good start? Maybe.
I could blog but it's dull; really. Greg and I spent three weeks on a huge form recently: we need to get at our Kiwisaver to fund an engineer's assessment of the house because we've both been sick for a year (post eq immune system meltdown both), made redundant at same time, used up savings, bank won't extend mortgage (large percentage in house but little income). The engineer will cost 5k or more. Red Cross has 1k grant for that kind of thing but damage must be 100k or more: but EQC says the damage is under 100k. So no help. To sell the house as is
+ get out we need to get assessment settled, To do that we need engineer's report...And now the Kiwisaver provider is quibbling, threatening not to hand it over and if they decide not to, there is no appeal and a three-month standdown.
This is a run-of-the-mill story down here. That's three or four major life-stress events in that par.
But there's no way this grind is gripping film (or writing).
Apart from myself and cameraman Jake Bryant (whose Mum lives in Christchurch)
That man Jake again. He often seems to be in the area when good work is made.
But there’s no way this grind is gripping film (or writing).
It's documentary though. Strength gained by exposing just how big the problem is too.
Sorry 'bout all your shit Hebe. I am really saddened by yours and thousands of others plights down there. How about everyone bombard Brownlee, start a campaign to bombard Brownlee by email. a form (short ,sharp) letter to complain that his sitting on his but is not helping any of you. Complain,complain, constantly, then mention it to TV or Newspapers or both
A form letter could have boxes to tick, problems to date.....
If the intention was to send a ‘postcard ‘from the broken heart of Chchch to the rest of New Zealand, so people could ’experience’ our ‘story’ I would rather redirect them to New Brighton musician and artist Blair Parkes’ excellent ‘Chimney Book’ video, hosted on NZ on Screen, (and commissioned to public fulfilment by Russell for a Public Address Great Blend in 2011), and to ‘When a City Falls’ …
I felt that commissioning 'Chimney Book' and getting it in front of people was an important thing that was within my power to do. I wish you'd been there for the public screening (along with Stanier Black Five's sound work) at the Great Blend, Ian. It was powerful. My main memory is Bart Janssen and I holding on to Emma while she basically lost her shit in the dark.