I collaborated with Michael Heath and playwright Robert Lord on this short film. We hooked up with a class of 11-year-old Petone children taught by Bob. I wanted to avoid attempts to analyse, rationalise or make judgements on the children we filmed. Rather it [the film] was free flowing extemporised observations that came from the children’s own imagination, with stimulus offered by their fictional teacher, [played by] Michael Heath.
We were influenced by François Truffaut and French cinema at the time — after making this film I began working on an adaptation of Janet Frame’s Owls Do Cry (19 years before Jane Campion’s adaptation of An Angel at My Table). Unfortunately there was no finance available, and state television was unwilling to move to funding documentary-making by the independent sector.