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Written By: - Date published: 11:08 pm, May 24th, 2014 - 14 comments
Categories: helen clark - Tags:

Just been watching the documentary “Helen” about Helen Clark past and present. Pretty damn good. For me it was a bit of a blast from the past. I started volunteering for her in Mt Albert in 1989. But I suspect that the same will be true for most people who have been aware of politics in NZ over the last 3 decades. Those images of Muldoon and Douglas were kind of creepy.

Helen is a documentary that explores the life and political story of former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Interweaving period archive and intimate interviews with contemporary footage of Helen Clark at her job at the United Nations, Helen tells the inside story of the woman who broke the mould, in her own words and those of her family, friends, colleagues, critics and political opponents. Her story takes us from a farm in the Waikato, to a flash job in New York. It’s both an extraordinary story and a very Kiwi one.

Programme: http://documentaryedge.org.nz/2014/wgtn/film/helen

Auckland SUN 1 JUN 11am Q Theatre Q&A

SAT 7 JUN 9pm Roxy Cinema
SUN 15 JUN 11:30am Roxy Cinema

For those of you who aren’t aware of it, the Documentary Edge is a film festival about local and overseas documentaries. Well worth looking at.

14 comments on “Helen”

  1. karol 1

    So it’s longer than the TV3 version. What’s been added?

    • lprent 1.1

      It is the festival version. Lyn and Briar’s doco was in two sizes as well. One for airing on PBS and the otehr the one that went through the festivals.

      Umm hard to tell. I’d have to watch the TV3 version. But I’d suspect that there was more of the archival footage.

  2. fisiani 2

    HELEN is a good documentary about the past. THE CUNLIFFE will never be a documentary.

    • lprent 2.1

      Unlike you I was around and politically aware (I still unsure that you are the latter even now) when Helens personal polling was way below David Cunliffes now. That was after she had been leader of the opposition for more than 4 years. It took having Jenny Shipley rolling Jim Bolger before that useless figure started to rise.

      For that matter Jim Bolger wasn’t seen as a politician who’d ever be more than a a pair of safe ministerial hands. He turned out to be pretty competent. Certainly when I was watching him after he was made a member of the cabinet after the 1975 election..

      I was around when David Lange was the butt of more political jokes than I have ever seen anyone get – before he was anointed leader.

      David Cunliffe looks pretty good to me. However I’m guided more by observation of reality and history than that smeared, simple, and strange domain that you see things from within. Perhaps you should try removing the nappy from your head more often?

      • Ad 2.1.1

        A basic difference can feel is that under Helen Clark we were led as a country and we were going somewhere as a country. She inspired me to get into political activism.

        Cunliffe, brought up under Helen, is similarly geared to lead New Zealand.

        Key is funny.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.2

        I was around when David Lange was the butt of more political jokes than I have ever seen anyone get

        But Gerry’s got quite a big butt…

  3. Chooky 3

    Yes if that is the documentary I saw on tv…it is pretty impressive!….and I think David Cunliffe will be equally impressive as leader of New Zealand!

    Interesting in that documentary was Winston Peters and what he had to say about the reasons for the disasterous coalition he formed with National ( Jim Anderton and the Alliance would not give the numbers for a stable Labour led coalition) and then later his coalition with Labour ….He certainly respected Helen Clark and enjoyed working with her and the Labour government ….and clearly that will be his preference again this time …..to work with Labour ( all the signs are there despite his detractors from Right and Left)

    • Anne 3.1

      In the late 1970s, there was a premeditated, negative perception built up around Helen Clark which began shortly before she was selected to be the new Labour candidate in Mt Albert. That perception was initially created by her enemies inside the Labour Party. Later on it was picked up by the Right (National and ACT parties) who preceded to run with it for the rest of her political life. It was a principle reason why she struggled for so long to gain acceptance with the public after she became the leader. To her credit she ended up one of the most popular prime ministers of all time.

      I see some parallels with David Cunliffe who has also had to struggle with a negative image originally started by a few of his colleagues, but long since exacerbated by the NACTS and a group of John Key sycophants in the MSM. The difference being: it started at a later point in Cunliffe’s political career, whereas Helen was being subjected to the falsehoods from the start of her career.

  4. dv 4

    I came across a Greek proverb that seems very relevant today.

    “A society grows great when old men/women plant trees whose shade they know they will never sit in”

    • Tracey 4.1

      we have alot of these in nz, you just dont find many in parliament or with “sir” in front of their names.

      • Populuxe1 4.1.1

        Actually there are probably quite a few with “sir” in front of their names and the left needs to let go of the carping class consciousness that goes with the title as the masses seem to quite like it.

  5. Charlieboy 5

    There you go,a perfectly good posting about a well made documentary, and up pops a national troll to repeat the idea that they want embedded, that Cunliffe is useless,blah ,blah, blah…Sorry, Fishy,even John Armstrong thinks that Labour and Cunliffe are looking like contenders now.Roll on the election, eh.

  6. Murray Olsen 6

    I admired Helen Clark a lot as a person, but never liked her politics much at all. On the occasions that I got to speak with her, I got the impression that her opinion of her politics may not have been that different. She seemed to be limited by what she saw as possible, which I suppose is pragmatic, but I wish Roger Douglas had felt these limits more than Helen had.

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