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"I overheard Dad say 'He's turning into a bloody pansy.' And I remember standing in the front garden, looking down at the pansies thinking, 'I don't get it. I can't understand it. Why is such an inoffensive flower such an object of scorn?'"

In this beautifully constructed autobiographical work New Zealand writer and film director Peter Wells recalls the experiences that shaped him as an outspoken gay activist and an artist. The filmmaker sets out on a journey, the catalyst being the anniversary of his (also gay) brother's death, exploring the repressive and conservative world of his upbringing that virtually forced his imagination to flourish. He looks at what nourished him and made him question his surroundings before he finally decided to come out when he was drafted for the Vietnam War.The film also focuses on Bess, his mother who brought up her two sons dunng the conformist 1950s, and, as Wells says, had to spend her life being 'outed' by his artistic acts.

Pansy is poignant and revealing, examining the way our recollections and stories are weaved together to form us as subjects.