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  1. The trailer for this telefeature.


This telefeature follows the gruelling journey of Archibald Baxter, a pacifist who defied conscription and chose, on moral grounds, not to fight in World War I. The Otago farmer (father of poet James K), was one of 14 Kiwi 'conchies' who were jailed, disenfranchised and shipped to the war in Europe. There Baxter, played by actor Fraser Brown, was tied to a post in freezing conditions, then forced to the Front. The film continues a run of Lippy Features tales adapted from true events (Tangiwai, Until Proven Innocent); it screened on TV ONE on 22 April 2014.

Credits (14)

 Peter Burger
 Paula Boock
 Donna Malane

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Comments (4)

 Richelle Page

Richelle Page

A chilling account of Baxter's life during WW1. I watched the film but I had to look away in various scenes. I enjoyed this film despite the cruel acts and what the film was about. It makes me shudder as I type.

 Susan Ogilvie

Susan Ogilvie

I saw this film just a few days ago and it hasn't left me. It would appear that none of the soldiers who were ordered to commit these atrocious acts could do anything to stop it. The officers who had the ability to stop it just condoned it. I would rather be shot than live with the fact that I had assisted in it. It doesn't seem to matter who you are, the level of education that you have achieved, or the rank that you've been given - we are all capable of horrific cruelty to one another. Why? I don't expect that any of the men that committed these crimes were ever delivered the justice that they so deserved. Were they considered heroes? Will we ever learn? Baxter and his compatriots were so right. They did everything they could to stop it.

 pauline price

pauline price

I cannot believe that we could be that cruel to a fellow human being. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

 Murray Rowlands

Murray Rowlands

Chris Pugsley said the British had to intervene on behalf of Baxter to stop him being killed. What a disgrace.

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Related Titles (9)


Film, 2005 (Full Length)

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Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 Anzac Day Collection
 The World War I Collection

ScreenTalk  See all interviews › 

Related interviews:

 Lippy Pictures: Dramatising reality…

Lippy Pictures is an Auckland-based production company run by award-winning writer/producers Paula Boock and ...


When I was only semen in a gland
 / Or less than that, my father hung
 / From a torture post at Mud Farm
 / Because he would not kill. 
A dramatic and brutal story of war but acts of cruelty from some officers were more than matched by acts of compassion from the common soldiers, as digger and pacifist alike confronted the futility of war. How the conchies dealt with the cruelty meted out to them is even more extraordinary. 
I'll say , 'son, I did everything I could do to stop it'. 


2014 Rialto Channel NZ Film Awards (The Moas)
Nominated for Best Television Feature

2014 SWANZ Scriptwriter Awards (NZ Writers Guild)
Nominated for Best Television One-Off Drama: Donna Malane and Paula Boock