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If the Springbok rugby tour of New Zealand in 1981 had been halted from the outset, the impact on the hearts and minds of South Africans would not have been as profound. The original point of difference of this Leanne Pooley-directed film is to show how events in NZ (captured in Merata Mita's documentary Patu!) played out in South Africa; how the tour protests energized blacks, and shamed the regime, and provoked democratic change. Archbishop Desmond Tutu: "You really can't even compute its value, it said the world has not forgotten us, we are not alone."



A Perspective by Costa Botes 22.11.2008

When Nigeria (and 24 other African countries) boycotted the 1978 Commonwealth Games in protest at New Zealand's sporting links with Apartheid-era South Africa, critics loudly proclaimed that sport and politics should not mix. The Government of New ...

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Credits (4)

 Leanne Pooley
 John Cavill
 Tim Woodhouse

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Comments (11)

 Mark Fredericks

Mark Fredericks

This event is not even acknowledged in modern South Africa. The sports struggle has been totally written out of the struggle story - mainly because of the way 'unification' was enacted. I had the privilege of visiting New Zealand in 2011 and was a guest of John Minto for a few weeks, and I also spoke at Victoria University on the significance of the anti-apartheid sports struggle, and how it was betrayed by Mandela & Co. I presented a 'video commentary' called "Injury Time - the Rise of the 80 Minute Nation" at the University of Otago, as a guest of Doug Booth, and also at Canterbury University in Christchurch. It saddens me to reflect on how this momentous period has been carefully swept off the South African history table. That's why John Minto (good on him) refused to be inducted into the South African sports Hall of 'Shame' - run by Naas Botha - an 81 tourist.



Thank you. I have heard of Try Revolution before, and have always wanted to see it.



This documentary has really helped me. Thank you. I am doing an internal assessment on the springbok tour. Speeches for and against the springbok tour :)

 Morrissey Breen

Morrissey Breen

Don, your claim that "you can't find anyone who was pro tour these days" is not correct. John Key was pro-tour, and so were Gerry Brownlee, Jim Bolger and the rest of the National Party. The most rabidly pro-tour was Michael Laws, who in 1981 was a virulent presence on the Otago campus.

 John McCarthy (Irish and proud)

John McCarthy (Irish and proud)

What about apartheid in Israel and Palestine? Where do New Zealanders stand on this? Is it because the Israelis dont play rugby?!!!

This a film which captures the courage of ordinary New Zealanders. 30 years on you can also make a difference to the apartheid in Israel and for the Palestinians!

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To see strife between families in New Zealand and how it really ripped the country apart, well I think that’s quite bad and then realising this isn’t the way it should be. That was a big eye opener. 
You really can’t even compute its value, it said the world has not forgotten us, we are not alone. 


2007 Qantas Television Awards
Nominated for Best Popular Documentary

2007 Air New Zealand Screen Awards
Nominated for Best Documentary and Editing (Tim Woodhouse)