James Bertram — a journalist, academic and prisoner of war during WWll — talks to fellow writer James McNeash about his experiences in Asia in this interview series. Bertram discusses his work for the China Defence League and why he fought alongside the Chinese during the 1941 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. He describes meeting other writers and political activists, including the poet WH Auden and ex-pat Kiwi Rewi Alley, who was building Chinese rural co-operatives. Bertram spent nearly four years as a prisoner of war in Hong Kong and Japan. Hunting Horns was directed by Barry Barclay (Tangata Whenua).
Agnes thought I was a complete failure...a sort of Oxford dilettante, pansying around...and she was always for something tough, something vigorous. Agnes was tremendously dynamic and proletarian and outspoken.– James Bertram on American revolutionary activist Agnes Smedley
Presented with thanks to the Aotearoa/New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Music performed by Jan Preston