Kia ora subscriber,
Today, our documentary film River of Freedom is ONLINE for the world to see.

It has been a journey. Beginning on the 6th February 2022 in the half-light of Cape Reinga | Te Rerenga Wairua and The Bluff | Motupōhue, with a river of trucks, cars, caravans, and motorbikes, travelling our island nation to New Zealand's Parliament. Frustrated with legal overreach, they converged in an extraordinary sea of people, to strongly protest the Ardern government's blatant disregard of New Zealanders' natural human rights.

After months of editing and extra filming, and with help from many places, we finally premiered River of Freedom in Auckland on the 5th of September 2023 to a packed Civic Theatre of 1363 people. Mike Bee, in our first ever review, recounts the evening well, reminding us:

The ultimate fate of the film in New Zealand will probably depend on whether freedom or tyranny is the victor... If New Zealand becomes a full totalitarian state, the film will be banned and confiscated, but if we come through... as a mature and sovereign nation – with qualities... that resemble what were born in the social processes of Freedom Village.
Mike Bee, Counterspin Media

While the threat of our film being cancelled was ever near, we feel that just as the Parliament protest and Freedom Village were a win in their manifestation and result, the film also achieved a win. It started off quietly in only 12 cinemas, but grew to screen for 10 weeks in over 50 theatres. It has been seen by more people than any other New Zealand cinematic documentary this year. We are on our way to some maturity in our country.

Despite being ignored by mainstream media in New Zealand, we have not been forgotten by the world. Journeyman Pictures in London, UK, have picked up the film for distribution across mainstream online channels and cinemas internationally - including Apple TV!

Rent or Buy NOW on Apple TV or iTunes !

Rent or Buy NOW on Vimeo On Demand !

Today, 13 December 2023, is a New Moon, the "Day of Whiro" as per the first speech in the film. Mātaorā Hōtoke Takirihi opens the film and sets the scene, explaining that it was a New Moon on 2 March 2022, which is usually "a day of quietness, a day of stillness" - Whiro is the angriest Atua (God) in Māori cosmology. It's the day the New Zealand Police chose to brutalise the people of Freedom Village / Kotahitanga with weapons never before used on protestors: Pepper spray, sonic weapons, sponge bullets, riot shields.

Anger is a force. It waits for an opening to plant seeds of despair, division, hate and fear. There were many people on that last day who remained calm and peaceful, working to deflect the angry barbs. We carry on, calming the Whiro of our country - with a candle, a lamp, a small fire. :) Keeping our home-fires burning; our light shining, sharing warmth, hope and love.

We are incredibly proud to have our film online for everyone to experience. Thank you to Journeyman Pictures! Thank you everyone for your overwhelming support! ☮️ ❤️

Help us to share the film

The media continue to ignore us. We need to spread the word! Please forward this newsletter to your email contacts. Head to our social media pages and follow us, like us, and share with your friends - remember to tag #RiverofFreedom
facebook twitter instagram youtube