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Clips (4)

  1. Part one of three from this full length documentary.

  2. Part two of three from this full length documentary.

  3. Part three of three from this full length documentary.

  4. The credits from this documentary.


In the 1930s aviatrix Jean Batten broke solo distance flying records and achieved international fame. Directed by her biographer, Ian Mackersey, Garbo of the Skies chronicles Batten's life through archive footage, interviews, narration from her unpublished memoirs and reconstructions of her epic flights. The film also reveals a lonely private world: a domineering mother, romantic tragedy, an itinerant fall into obscurity, and death in a Majorcan hotel (a mystery solved by research for the film). It screened on TVNZ, and sold to Discovery Channel and the BBC.

Credits (13)

 Ian Mackersey
 Peter Sainsbury
 Dave Madigan

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Comments (6)

 Richard Price

Richard Price

Ihave always wanted to see this film. I contacted Ian Makersey around 3 yrs ago to tell him a little anecdote.........In Oct 1979 I had recently learned to fly and flew with a friend to the PFA rally at Cranfield. There were rows of small marquees occupied by various vendors. At the end of one row sat a lady at a small round table with a piles of books around her. I went over to see....It was Jean Batten,all alone. Nobody seemed interested in her and I had never heard of her.. I went over to her and we nstruck up a conversation about flying over a cup of tea together.....and she gave me a signed copy of her book...'Alone in the Sky. I have never forgotten that day...Tea with one of the greatest women aviators of all time. May she continue to rest in peace.

Richard Price,London

 Chris Snabel

Chris Snabel

this was a great tv documentry, great books, great woman.

 Bruce Roy

Bruce Roy

Having read her autobiography 'My Life' and searched around the internet archives, I cannot help but be absolutely astounded and impressed by her extraordinary achievements. Maybe she became a bit of a strange woman as a result, but she was certainly a brilliant aviator and would have needed to be very tough between her ears to achieve what she did. And we should be very proud that she she is one of our kind, a New Zealander.

 Gary Sewall

Gary Sewall

I own and fly an original 1929 Gipsy Moth as was shown in this wonderful aviation documentary about Jean Batten. Thank you so much for producing it.

 A Williamson

A Williamson

I met and spoke with Jean Batten during a visit to Motat in Auckland when I was a teenager. I didn't realize until many years later that this was a rare and privileged experience. Now I have my memories and her autobiography which she signed for me.

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A great woman ... but perhaps a sad human being in many ways. 
The Girl Who Beat All The Men! 
In flying I found the two things that meant everything to me: the intoxicating drug of speed and the freedom to roam the earth; I knew I was destined to be a wanderer. 


1989 Listener Film and Television Awards
Editing (John Gilbert)