Review - McLaren

Review by Rod Freedman

McLaren Dir: Roger Donaldson | New Zealand

One for motorsport enthusiasts, this is the true story of Bruce McLaren, an unassuming, obsessed young Kiwi who became an unlikely star of the Formula 1 circuit in the 1960s, before dying in classic fashion at the age of 32 in a car crash. Directed by Roger Donaldson, the film takes us through his spectacular career through interviews with his wife and colleagues, using a wealth of photographs, footage and effective recreations.

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This was a time when the top drivers were treated like movie stars. Yet the foundation of McLaren’s fame was an incredibly hard-working man and his team who designed and built their own cars, starting from his dad’s Auckland garage. Though not a fan of motor racing, I was swept along by the story and the character of McLaren as a modest Kiwi who became world famous.


Review - My Year With Helen

Review By Rod Freedman

My Year With Helen  Dir: Gaylene Preston | New Zealand

New Zealand filmmaker Gaylene Preston follows former PM Helen Clark over a year in her bid to become the 1st Secretary General of the UN after 72 years of male SGs. We know she didn’t succeed, but the process is revealing of the behind-the-scenes machinations and politicking of the powerful and not so powerful countries.

An inspiring portrait of a forthright woman, a major player on the world stage who still ensures her ageing dad has homemade frozen dinners while she’s away running the United Nations Development Program.

The film conveys how tough it is to break the remaining glass ceilings. May it motivate future generations of women to keep at it!
- Helen Clark, 2017

ROD FREEDMAN is an independent director and producer whose documentaries have won many Australian and international awards and screened in dozens of film festivals. Rod is particularly interested in stories about people and their life’s journeys.