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21 November 2015 - 13 March 2016

Hugh Macdonald: This Auckland

This cheeky, fourteen-minute National Film Unit documentary from 1967 spruiks Auckland as a modern city of ‘design and disorder’. It observes citizens at work and at play, basking in the summer sun and escaping winter downpours. The locals’ habits are mercilessly exposed: their sheeplike behaviour, beer guzzling, and resistance to retiring clapped-out cars. The film offers a counterpoint to the more bohemian view of Auckland found in our exhibition Unseen City, on show upstairs.

This Auckland was awarded the Plaque Lion of St Mark at the 1967 Venice Biennale Film Festival and awards at festivals in Prague, Edinburgh, and Taipei. Director Hugh Macdonald went on to direct the three-screen spectacular This Is New Zealand, the Sistine Chapel ceiling of travel films, for Expo ’70 in Osaka. Thanks National Archives.

This Auckland screens in the auditorium | 14 min