TAKE (NZ Director’s Guild Magazine) July 2009
The new documentary on filmmaker Barry Barclay The Camera On The Shore is about to premiere at the NZ Film Festival. Waka Attewell, cinematographer on the film and fellow traveller with Barclay, reflects on the man, his filmmaking and that most difficult of all documentary subjects, the truth, with director Graeme Tuckett.
You only get a couple of moments that will determine the high points of your life – if you miss the moment then it’s gone – if you embrace it then the consequences can be gruelling. Ambition can be blind, so is justice and so is the obvious truth.
Not many people under a certain age will remember the work of filmmaker Barry Barclay – they might know that he made the world’s first Indigenous feature film Ngati – but they wouldn’t know anything about The Neglected Miracle or Autumn Fires – they might have heard something about a TV series on the plight of Maori in the 70s, then again they might remember Feathers of Peace as Baz opened the doors on the past atrocities and then slammed them into the face of Maori – but no one seemed to take his lead. He wasn’t an orthodox filmmaker by any stretch and his vision was always totally unique and special.