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Hero image for Alister Barry: Making political films from Mururoa 1973 to Hot Air...

Alister Barry: Making political films from Mururoa 1973 to Hot Air...

Interview – 2016

Alister Barry is the filmmaker behind a series of provocative and politically-charged documentaries, most of them self-funded. His first, Mururoa 1973, tackled nuclear testing, and saw him on a boat heading into the middle of a bomb test zone. Over the decades Barry has continued to make significant political documentaries including Someone Else’s Country, In a Land of PlentyThe Hollow Men and Hot Air (all of which can be watched in full on NZ On Screen).

In this ScreenTalk, Barry talks about:

  • Filming French commandos boarding his protest boat while making Mururoa 1973
  • Finding a clever way to hide his footage from the French
  • Getting "establishment" funding for documentary A Nuclear Free Pacific/ Niuklia Fri Pasifik
  • Getting Pacific leaders on board for the film 
  • Why anger with the Rogernomics-era Labour Government led to Someone Else’s Country
  • Wanting to create a big impact with his documentary based on Nicky Hager's bestseller The Hollow Men
  • Exploring climate change — "the biggest issue of our time" — in Hot Air 
This video was first uploaded on 9 February 2016, and is available under this Creative Commons licence. This licence is limited to use of ScreenTalk interview footage only and does not apply to any video content and photographs from films, television, music videos, web series and commercials used in the interview.
Interview, Camera and Editing – Andrew Whiteside
...I think that it's just as important to explain exactly the lay of the land politically — because even if that is depressing ... if we know that it's a very steep hill that we have to climb, then we will think about how best to climb it.
– Alister Barry on why Hot Day, his documentary about attempts to fight climate change, is useful