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The Maintenance of Silence

Short Film (Full Length) – 1985

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.

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

Key Cast & Crew

William Keddell

Director, Writer, Producer, Editor

Tony Drumm

As: Eric

Russell Jephson

As: Brian

Loren Squires

As: Carol

Martyn Sanderson

As: Cinema Owner

Chris Burt


See all 19 credits

Produced by

Meddle Film Productions


Meddle Film Productions