We present Merata Mita's incendiary documentary on the 1981 Springbok tour protests – a landmark in New Zealand film history.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
The year the Film Archive was founded was also the year the Springbok Tour revealed a huge division in New Zealand society. As thousands of New Zealanders took to the streets to demonstrate their solidarity with the victims of apartheid, battalions of filmmakers and photographers recorded the confrontations with police and rugby diehards. The credit list on this film is a who’s who of the renaissance of New Zealand cinema. Their contributions, running to many hours, were edited into an incredibly persuasive feature by Merata Mita. ‘You may even be in it’ ran the tagline on the posters, but the tone of the film is far from self-congratulatory. Mita was determined that Patu! screenings not become the RSA for anti-tour vets. Disgust at apartheid and dissatisfaction with New Zealand race relations are inseparable in her film. The original 16mm theatrical release version of Patu! which premièred at the Festival in 1983, ran 113 minutes. Merata subsequently recut the film for international release to 84 minutes.