Sheilas: 28 Years On

Year: 2004
Country: New Zealand
Running time: 71 mins
New Zealand
Photography: Maire Gunn
Editor: Tim Woodhouse
Graphics: Peter Worrall,
Amanda Lane
Music: Sean Donnelly

TVNZ’s 1976 series Women is an invaluably detailed time capsule from the era when, to quote Miriam Cameron, New Zealand women let it be known that they ‘were pissed off with being left out’. In 2004 TV One has commissioned filmmakers Annie Goldson (Punitive Damage) and Dawn Hutchesson to appraise the impact of feminism over the intervening years on five of the women from that series. Intercutting then with now, in the infallibly gripping manner of the 7-Up series, they catch up with artist Miriam Cameron, therapist Aloma Parker (seen precisely enunciating ‘clitoris’ on 70s television), novelist and lesbian (then a married copywriter) Sandi Hall, editor and broadcaster Marcia Russell, and activist/ACTivist Donna Awatere-Huata. While most now quail at early feminist extremism, all clearly acknowledge sisterhood as a vital key to their considerable individual accomplishments.