In this 2002 documentary director Brita McVeigh heads down the aisle to explore the world of air hostesses in air travel’s glamorous 60s and 70s heyday. Seven ex-“trolley dollies” recall exacting beauty regimes, controversial uniform changes, and the job’s unspoken insinuation of sexual availability. The cheese and cracker trolley becomes a vehicle that charts the changing status of women as McVeigh argues that — despite layovers in Honolulu, and a then-rare working opportunity for ‘girls’ — the high life concealed harassment, and struggles for equal rights and pay.
What I had now was a story that traced the changing status of women. It finally made sense to me, as the recipient, a woman of the next generation. I had been trying to grasp the anomalies of the 50s, 60s and 70s working environment for a New Zealand air hostess and now I could see a way to tell the stories of these women.– Director Brita McVeigh after discovering the 1987 book Human Rights Commission vs. Air New Zealand Ltd.: A Story of Sex Discrimination.
Available to buy from gaylenepreston.com
Made with funding from NZ On Air
The original title song ‘Pretty Things’, is by Flight of the Conchords (Bret Mckenzie, Jemaine Clement)