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Seeing Red

Television (Excerpts) – 1995

Directed by Annie Goldson (Brother Number One), this 1995 TV documentary explores the story of Cecil Holmes, who won Cold War notoriety in 1948 when he was smeared as a communist agent, while working as a director for the National Film Unit. This excerpt — the opening 10 minutes — revisits the infamous snatching of Holmes' satchel outside Parliament, his Palmerston North upbringing, war service, and the founding of the Government's National Film Unit. There are excerpts from a 1980 interview where Holmes describes his inspirations (including UK film Night Mail).

[John Grierson] was critical of the largely scenic government films of the the time, saying he’d seen enough pictures of mountains, sheep and butter-making to last him a lifetime. What was needed now were films that showed for the first time the face of the New Zealander.
– Narrator Jennifer-Ward Lealand describes a 1940 visit to New Zealand by UK filmmaker John Grierson

Key Cast & Crew

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Cecil Holmes


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Annie Goldson

Director, Writer, Associate Producer

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James Wallace


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Todd Winlove

As: NFU filmmaker

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Michael Bajko

As: NFU filmmaker

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Seth Keen

As: NFU filmmaker

See all 22 credits

Produced by

James Wallace Productions


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The Film Shop