Mini-series Bread and Roses recreates the early days of trade unionist and politician Sonja Davies. Behind the scenes, the $4 million production required 175 speaking parts, and dozens of sets — many built from plywood, “to make something out of nothing”. This documentary follows director Gaylene Preston and producer Robin Laing from preproduction and filming a dance scene in Wellington Town Hall, to (old-fashioned film) editing. Meanwhile lead actor Geneviève Picot talks about the challenges of portraying a character who often kept her vulnerabilities hidden.
...very often when you're playing a role they (audiences) love to see the vulnerability of characters. But with Sonja her vulnerability's not something that you saw very obviously in her face. She's quite a contained woman, and your face is what you use most on camera to tell people how you're feeling ... to tell that story of being hurt, being vulnerable, yet at the same time appearing not to be. It's a bit tricky to try and get that across.– Actor Geneviève Picot, on playing Sonja Davies