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New Zealand’s war effort showcased

April 21, 2011

A film of poignant significance to ANZAC Day, made in 1941 by the National Film Unit, has been remastered and released online by Archives New Zealand.

 Country Lads, the first film made by the National Film Unit,  has been restored and digitised to feature film quality by Archives New Zealand and is now available online worldwide, Chief Archivist and General Manager of Archives New Zealand Greg Goulding said.

 “With ANZAC Day approaching this film pays tribute to the heroes of the day and is a timely reminder of their legacy to New Zealanders. Country Lads is a gem of a film recalling how ordinary New Zealanders willingly took up the call to serve. 

 “The film tells the story of country lads signing-up for World War Two and going to camp,”  Greg Goulding said. “The voice over recalls Adolf Hitler’s derogatory comments about the allies: poor deluded country lads they have been called. 

“The film shows troops parading through central Wellington and their departure for the Middle East.  The film screened throughout New Zealand in support of the war effort and proved the concept of the Film Unit in Government communications.  Country Lads, the Archives New Zealand film and Moments in Time were officially launched by Hon Nathan Guy Minister Responsible for Archives New Zealand on Tuesday 12 April.

 “This and the other textual, photographic and sound evidence held in Archives gives a huge insight into how New Zealanders and the Government perceived themselves and positioned New Zealand on the world stage.”

 Coupled with this film Archives New Zealand has also developed a new film about what to expect on a visit to Archives plus Moments in Time six one-minute vignettes showing some of the archives’ hidden treasures, Greg Goulding said.  “They tell the tale of that firm New Zealand favourite hokey-pokey, the influence of the School Journal on the lives of our school children, our immigration policy from the 1940s, how people from all over the world fell in love with dolphin Pelorus Jack, the political world of Sir Walter Nash and how the first All Black Captain, David Gallaher, made a contribution to New Zealand on the rugby field and ultimately with his life in World War One.

 “These new films plus several films from the New Zealand National Film Unit collection are available on the Archives New Zealand website via the internet channel http://www.ecasttv.co.nz/  and on YouTube.”

Posted on behalf of Archives New Zealand, Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua

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