Broken Barrier marked the first New Zealand dramatic feature to be made since 1940. Its production saw directors John O'Shea and Roger Mirams crowding into a Vauxhall with two silent cameras, one picked up "from a dead German in the Western Desert". Ditching dialogue for 'spoken thoughts', the pioneering film examines cultural complications in a romance between a Pākehā journalist (Terence Bayler) and a Māori nurse (Kay Ngarimu, aka Keita Whakato Walker). According to O'Shea, some viewers considered it "a dirty movie" for spurring mixed race relationships.
Broken Barrier is a down to earth picture of the New Zealand we all know about ... and seldom talk about. But people will talk about Broken Barrier from north Auckland to the Bluff.– Voiceover on trailer
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Music composed by Australian-based composer Sydney John Kay (aka Kurt Kaiser)