Screened as part of NZIFF 2004

Marti: The Passionate Eye 2004

Directed by Shirley Horrocks

73 minutes 35mm



Craig Wright

Additional photography

Leon Narbey
David Paul
Matthew Perry


Dermot McNeillage
Bill Toepfer


Peter Kraan
Keith Tunney

Additional sound

David Madigan
Myk Farmer
Grant Lawrey


Jonathan Besser


Photographer Marti Friedlander recounts her life while her photographs recount her times in the lively, evocative and admiring documentary portrait that Shirley Horrocks has made for TV One. A high-spirited young woman who’d grown up in an East End orphanage, she worked as an assistant to two major London photographers in the 50s. When she married a New Zealander and moved here in 1958, Bohemian London was suddenly a terribly long way away. Culture shock inspired her earliest photos of New Zealanders, and her richly textured work has continued to merge intimacy, curiosity and an element of formal detachment. Seen here, her images comprise an eloquent picture show of 40 years of social change, corroborated by Horrocks’ array of stunning archival footage. Horrocks also interviews Michael King (who invited Friedlander to make the famous moko portraits) and several fellow artists who’ve been subjected to her lens – and to her often imperious ideas about how they might best express themselves in front of it. Few, it appears, could resist her attention, or ever wished they had. — BG