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Hero image for Barry Barclay: Pacific Films and the early days...

Barry Barclay: Pacific Films and the early days...

Interview – 2009

The late Barry Barclay [Ngāti Apa] was one of New Zealand's most respected filmmakers. He directed such landmark titles as TV series Tangata Whenua, award-winning film Ngati, and The Feathers of Peace. Barclay was also a longtime campaigner for the right of indigenous people to tell their own stories to their own people.

In this ScreenTalk, Barclay talks about:

  • Early days working at John O'Shea's production company Pacific Films
  • Pacific's contribution to Māori filmmaking, in particular with iconic TV series Tangata Whenua
  • Pacific's creative and independent spirit, and gaining inspiration from director Tony Williams
  • Directing Pacific Films production Ashes, which starred a young Sam Neill as a conflicted priest
  • Directing his first feature film Ngati
  • Working with Pacific Films boss John O'Shea, and how O'Shea 'didn't really see skin colour'
  • What it was like being 'Māori with a camera' in the early days of the Māori cultural renaissance

Note: there are some defects in the footage, which come from the original master.

Interview and Camera: Clare O'Leary and Monika Ahuriri. Editing: Alex Backhouse.

This video was first uploaded on 18 July 2009, 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.
We were basically lied to by the media, right up it was a shock to us to find that there was that kind of Māori world still around... I was told that Māori language was not spoken except in the mountains by old men on ceremonial occasions.
– Barry Barclay discusses how television series Tangata Whenua provided a new view of the Māori world