Full screen
Video quality

Low 0 MB

High 0 MB



The Maintenance of Silence Short Film (Full Length) – 1985 Drama

The Maintenance of Silence

Short Film (Full Length) – 1985 Drama

Start video player

Just after midnight on November 18, 1982, Neil Roberts, a 22-year old anarchist, exploded a bag of gelignite outside the Whanganui police computer centre, killing himself instantly. In this short film, director William Keddell uses a fictional character — Eric, a young man awoken in bed at the exact moment of detonation — to take a psychological road-trip exploring the events leading up to what is arguably NZ’s most famous case of homegrown political terrorism. Real-life friends and associates of Roberts make cameo appearances in supporting roles.

Key Cast & Crew

William Keddell

Director, Writer, Producer, Editor

Tony Drumm

As: Eric

Russell Jephson

As: Brian

I got a knock on the door from some plainclothes Auckland cops when the Arts Council grant for the film was announced in the NZ Herald. They asked me some basic questions, but when they realized I was not trying to incite a rebellion they left me alone.
– Director William Keddell, in an interview with Russell Campbell, The Journal of New Zealand Studies no 8, 2009