Pacific Media Watch

3 July 2015

NZ: The Price of Peace - 'terror' surveillance and the Tūhoe people

A riveting documentary about Tame Iti and the Urewera Four. Image: NZIFF Still

AUCKLAND (AUT University/NZIFF/Pacific Media Watch): Surveilance is in the headlines worldwide, and the new documentary The Price of Peace shows where surveillance can lead, and the price citizens end up paying, as activist Tame Iti and the people of Tūhoe struggle for justice following the illegal New Zealand police raids of 2007.

This is one of three documentaries that have a creative and professional link with AUT University in the New Zealand International Film Festival 2015 opening in Auckland on July 16.

One of the co-prducers of The Price of Peace is AUT television and screen production lecturer and film-maker Christina Milligan.

Director Kim Webby’s background in investigative journalism has been put to riveting use in this documentary about Tame Iti and the Urewera Four, taking a criminal case of national interest to explore a greater social issue.

There is an enlightening and moving portrait of Tūhoe activist, artist and kaumātua Tame Iti at the heart of the film about the trial and its aftermath.

Webby outlines the perils of surveillance in her account of the trial, in which Iti and three others were accused of plotting terrorist activities after an alleged paramilitary training camp was discovered by police in the Urewera in 2007.

Charting his youth as a young activist through to his perspective on the polarising trial, the film offers us a rich, multifaceted portrait of the man, peppered by both his warm humanism and his rightly embittered philosophy.

Microcosm of tension
Employing Iti’s legal quandary as a microcosm of the tension between Ngāi Tūhoe and the Crown, Webby observes a people who never lose their integrity or vital sense of independence despite the long shadows of injustice.

A startling and engaging companion piece to the more contemplative Ever the Land, The Price of Peace reveals a national failure of maddening proportions, culminating in an emotionally cathartic denouement that’s deeply personal in scale – yet crucially hopeful in its historic significance

This powerful film about police overkill makes its case through the experience and research of the former lawman who founded Utah’s first SWAT team, then saw it shoot down a member of his own family 33 years later.

Tvisit of the directors, Scott Christopherson and Brad Barber, and their address at both screenings has been spinsored by AUT's television and Screen Production masters programme.

New Zealand artists are often called upon to engage in "place-making" projects.

These 11 short works find contemporary cracks and crevices in the heroic landscape tradition.

The selection includes films by AUT lecturers Janine Randerson, Dieneke Jansen, Andrew Denton and postgraduate students Tim Danko and Layne Waerea.

Curated by Janine Randerson and Mark Williams.

Presented by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand –

Screening details at the NZIFF website

Creative Commons Licence



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand Licence.

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