Ans Westra, whose photographs of New Zealanders constitute a uniquely expressive record of who we are and have been, contemplates her career with amusement and gratitude.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Ans Westra, whose photographs of New Zealanders constitute a uniquely expressive record of who we are and have been, now sits for the camera herself. Contemplating her career with amusement and gratitude, she speaks as one for whom photography is as natural and indispensable as seeing or remembering. Luit Bieringa, first-time filmmaker and curator of the superb touring retrospective, intercuts her testimony with cordial interjections from friends, family and other well-informed admirers – and shows us the photos. Drawn to big public occasions, she’s rarely interested in big public figures. Her images are captured at the peripheries of official activity and are all the more piquant for that. Framed by a conversation with Hone Tuwhare, the film roundly acknowledges the progressive role her work played in 60s counterculture and in the cultural renaissance of Maori. We are delighted to present these première screenings of the extended Festival version of Bieringa’s film, commissioned by TVNZ for TV One’s Artsville series, and to join in celebrating a great New Zealand image-maker. — BG