The Rainbow Warriors of Waiheke Island

“Waiheke Island is almost its own country. It’s almost like a Greenpeace retirement village.” — Online trailer
Year: 2009
Running time: 87 mins

Producers: Willemien van Aalst, Suzanne van Voorst
Photography: Wiro Felix
Editor: Elja de Lange
Sound: Frenk van der Sterre, Alex Booy
Music: Joris Oonk
In English and Dutch, with English subtitles

With: Rien Achterberg, Martini Gotjé, Henk Haazen, Bunny McDiarmid, Susi Newborn, Hanne Sørensen

Festivals: Amsterdam Documentary 2009

Our premiere screening of this Dutch documentary marks the 25th anniversary of the sinking in Auckland harbour by French government agents of the Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior. Six members of the original Rainbow Warrior crew eventually settled on Waiheke Island, a location revealed through the lens of filmmaker Suzanne Raes as nothing short of paradise. She films them as they go about their daily lives and investigates the inextricable connections between their life choices and political action. They recount their role in moving 320 Marshall Islanders ravaged by fall-out from US nuclear tests in 1979. They talk of their innocent sense of adventure which shattered when colleague Fernando Pereira died on board the Warrior, a victim of the French action. They reflect on past campaigns and the changing nature of activism. We’re delighted to provide the homecoming venue for this international spotlight on their activism and to join them in commemorating a defining moment in the New Zealand’s anti-nuclear stance. — BG