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New Zealand, 2001 (MIFF 2002, Documentaries)

Director: Annie Goldson, Peter Wells

Annie Goldson made a serious impact on MIFF audiences in 1999 with her heart-rending documentary about the aftermath of the Dili massacre, Punitive Damage. Her latest work once again reflects a personal struggle, this time for acceptance. Georgie Girl explores the colourful, always outrageous and sometimes dangerous life of transgender New Zealand parliamentarian, Georgina Beyer in an isolated, ultra-conservative town.

Goldson's insightful portrait of a most unconventional figure traces Beyer's journey from a confused Maori homosexual youth in an intolerant community to her years as a sex worker then later career as an actor, singer and, ultimately, politician. Remarkably candid and entertaining, Beyer's style and charms have won over a conservative, rural electorate that made her, firstly, a city councilor then mayor and finally a key political player.

In her maiden speech to Parliament, with characteristic self-deprecating and ribald humour, Beyer observed about herself, "This was the stallion that became a gelding and now she's a mare. I suppose I do have to say that I have now found myself to be a member. So I've come full circle."

"A strange and wonderful package." - NZ Herald

Annie Goldson has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries for 15 years in the US and New Zealand. Her work includes Counter-terror: The North of Ireland (1990), Framing the Panthers in Black and White (1991), Death Row Notebooks (1993) and Seeing Red (1995).

See also...


Italy/USA, 2001
If Martin Scorsese never made another movie, he could unquestionably sustain a career as one of the greatest ever teachers of film. This is an epic masterclass on how to watch films, how to interpret… More »


France, 2002
To Be and to Have (in Official Selection at Cannes this year) follows an academic year in the lives of a dozen youngsters, aged 4-10, who are taught every subject, from math to gym, by one dedicated … More »


Germany/UK, 2001
When Victoria Chaplin, daughter of Charles, rummaged through her father's effects she stumbled across a pile of new film rolls. Revealed here for the first time, the find is Sydney Chaplin's colour d… More »


USA, 2001
"The world of reality television wouldn't exist without Frederick Wiseman's lingering examinations of fragments of society. And those who've grown up watching such programs should look at this film t… More »


USA/Germany, 2002
Are you prepared to alter your diet to avoid the need for toilet breaks, thus fitting in more movie screenings each day? Do you take changes of clothes to the cinema to avoid coming home? Can you liv… More »

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