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Helen Kelly, together

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, December 14th, 2019 - 5 comments
Categories: Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

Filmmakers drift through a life awash with half-formed fragments of story, brushing against our skin like driftwood. Most we can never tell, or just never will. If we let ourselves fall in love with all of them the constant awareness of loss would be overwhelming. So we try to turn our backs, try to forget them, try to move on.

Helen wouldn’t go away. Something about her way in the world stubbornly fascinated me, for years.

She was always real, usually happy, embarrassingly generous.

With the Right somehow grown extraordinarily good at harnessing animal spirits, the Left lost often in a dusty dry intellectualism, Helen’s extremely wide-ranging interest in the world’s social power, justice and politics always felt entirely alive when she talked about it. The people were real, the pain was now, the urgency cried out with a human voice. It wasn’t abstract – she knew them.

I’ve never met anyone with such disconcerting, quiet certainty in the two feet she stood on. With complete solidity, in kindness, without aggression, she was always just 100% simply herself. Imagine fighting someone like that?

And then suddenly, unbelievably, she was dying. She had very little time, and I had no more excuses.

“Helen Kelly – Together” is the story of Helen’s last year of activism in a New Zealand she had hard-earned doubts about. Its warm, intimate, and deeply troubling. I think it will leave you feeling engaged, energised and inspired to carry on her fight.

We need your help to tell Helen’s story to New Zealanders in places and to communities who will otherwise not be reached. Please host a screening during the first two weeks of February, get your people there, and ask them to spread the word wider.

~ Tony Sutorius: Director, Helen Kelly – Together

You can sign up to host a screening in your local cinema (including fundraiser screenings) by clicking here,

5 comments on “Helen Kelly, together”

  1. Rae 1

    Very good film, highly recommend, full of soul and love, not the least of which, that which came from Anna Osbourne.

  2. greywarshark 2

    Well that seems a great idea.   I will have a talk to local activists and see what we can set up. Feb gives some time after Christmas. January – flyers, a few signs – someone can put something on facebook – already there probably must look at link.

  3. That photo……..prescient I think is the word (considering the era the photo was taken).

    Now one of the worst areas of worker exploitation there is today.

    And just down the road is Anne Tolley's electrical orrifice and all the pretence and bullshit artists/orchard owners that outsource their responsibilities to exploiters prepared to take the risks for them to keep them at a respectable distance.  Interestingly too, the place where the exploted are called SCUM by bullet-proof vested Labour Inspectorant operatives. The photo of Anne-dear in the window has her wearing a Shipley-like chiffon costume alongside some other egg roll whose name eludes me, but should be one of the gNats up and coming embarrassments. (Actually its hard to distinguish whether its an electrical orriface or Harcourts Real Estate – not that there's much diff)

    Probably one of the best examples of all that's gone wrong in lil 'ole NuZull that punches above its weight.  Why there's even a tolled 4 lane BYPASS roadway a kilo or so away that has a few vehicles run over it every hour. for the benefit of the trucking industry.

    She wasn't stupid Ms Helen Kelly was she! Sadly missed!

    • greywarshark 3.1

      Happy Christmas OwT.   For a little while enjoy and regroup ready for a New Year and new tribulations to overcome.

  4. greywarshark 4

    I think after Christmas we can be reminded of this again, so that those who are now busy with end of year and Christmas can put it on their schedule.

    Also can you add to the names of those who have arranged for showings, the name of the town so others know it has been done, and also if wanting to help with it, know who to approach?   eg Ettie Rout Whangarei.

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