We use cookies to help us understand how you use our site, and make your experience better. To find out more read our privacy policy.


Television (Full Length and Extras) – 2006

This documentary revisits six eventful weeks in 1949, and a film that never was. Led by cameraman Brian Brake, a young, all-star art team poet James K Baxter as scriptwriter, composer Douglas Lilburn and painter John Drawbridge attempted to make a 'cinematic poem' about their ascent of Mount Aspiring. Baxter's notes on the trip evolved into his poem In the Matukituki Valley. The award-winning documentary features a lost script, Drawbridge's memories (he recalls plans for a snow cave light show) and a surprise ending. View extensive footage of the never-completed film after the documentary.

...John Drawbridge was the sole surviving member of the original shoot. He travelled back to the Matukituki Valley with the film crew, revisited the Aspiring Hut, reliving his earlier experience "of both confinement and liberation away from society ... and being together as a group for what seemed like a long time".
– Scriptwriter Gregory O'Brien on the new Aspiring documentary, 3 June 2006