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
James Wallace Productions
Available to purchase, stream or download from Occasional Productions