'Helen Kelly - Together' Returns to NZ Cinemas
HELEN KELLY – TOGETHER, one of the biggest local successes at last year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, is returning to the country’s cinemas from next month due to audience demand.
Made by award-winning director Tony Sutorius and produced by Catherine Fitzgerald (Bellbird, The Orator), HELEN KELLY - TOGETHER is an intimate and inspirational portrait of the late activist and advocate Helen Kelly.
The film will be released in cinemas nationwide from Thursday February 13th. This follows its limited release at the festival that resulted in sold-out theatres and additional screenings to cope with the response.
In 2015 Helen Kelly agreed to let documentary maker Tony Sutorius - the award-winning director of Campaign - into her life to document her last year of activism. The result is HELEN KELLY - TOGETHER - a stunning affirmation of Helen’s dedication to justice, and her friendships with those she fought alongside.
Filmmaker Tony Sutorius initially met with Helen the day after she had finished up her role with President of the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions. At the time, she was not only undergoing cancer treatment and facing a terminal illness (Helen had been diagnosed with lung cancer in February 2015) but it was also the first time in her adult life without a job. “I sat down with her and said: ‘How about I just tag along with a camera and see what happens? – and that’s exactly what we did.’” explains Tony. That process lasted nearly a year - until Helen’s death in October 2016 - and encompasses her advocacy work with various local sectors, including the families of the Pike River Mine victims, as well as forestry accident victims and locked out meat-workers.
“There was some work that Helen really wanted to try to get over the line before she couldn’t contribute any more and it was a privilege to be there to document that,” says Tony. “This documentary has changed my life and challenged me in some ways I was very surprised by. I think one of the most important things we can all learn from Helen is her humanism and the way she engaged with all people in a very equal way. She showed us that you can act to make real change and the first part of that is to engage with people in need as human beings.”
Equal parts moving and inspiring, funny and tragic, HELEN KELLY - TOGETHER is as much about what it is to be a Kiwi as it is about Helen’s astounding life. It is a cultural landmark and a piece of New Zealand’s film history.
HELEN KELLY - TOGETHER will be released in more than 30 cinemas across New Zealand from February 13th.
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