Graeme Tuckett’s lavishly illustrated documentary-cum-tribute reviews the groundbreaking achievements of Barry Barclay and is constructed around a long revealing interview with the filmmaker.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2009
The Camera on the Shore is Barry Barclay's metaphor for the camera in the hands of indigenous people – who may or may not turn it back on the ‘ship people’ who have so readily turned it on them. When Graeme Tuckett turned his camera on Barclay, his subject was in poor health, but he had a lot going on: a book just published, a novel in the works and a film project to talk up. Nonetheless the interviews he obtained before Barclay's unexpected death in February 2008 have a ruminative, for-the-record weight to them that make the film as moving as it is instructive. Barclay reviews his early adult life and delivers his own quietly proud assessment of his groundbreaking achievements as a filmmaker. He talks about the issues – political, philosophical and formal – arising from his lifelong project of putting Ma- ori experience on screen. Future generations will always have Barclay's remarkable films, but thanks to Tuckett's dedication they will now also have a vivid taste of a personal encounter with his ardent, testy intelligence. — BG
“Two weeks before he died, Barry sent me a long email about the documentary as it then stood. This is a paragraph from it:
‘Just in case it is suggested by anybody, I do not see the film as “me/me/me”. Others may be suspicious perhaps that I seized the moment for self-promotion. But I have had enough promotion to last a lifetime. What I am passionate about is seeing a document that speaks up for a whole stream of cinema that has not been spoken for in Big Media, that pays tribute and inspires the community, that despite what the funding and distribution authorities would have the country believe, we do have another tradition and are the richer for it and it's worth maintaining.’ We have made a film about Barry Barclay. And he is in it.” — Graeme Tuckett, On Film