Tuesday, 6 March, 7:30pm – FINAL
9 NY Festival awards: incl Best drama, actress
6 NZ Television awards: incl Best drama, actress, director, screenplay
Following McLaren and No Ordinary Sheila we continue our “great Kiwis in film” selection with this story of how Jean Batten, New Zealand’s most famous aviator, celebrity – and mystery – risked everything to become the first person to fly solo from England to her homeland.
A very strong woman, and you can see how she became who she did. There are many parallels to elderly of her age and how they view life.
In the 1930s, New Zealand’s Jean Batten stood alongside Amelia Earhart and Amy Johnson as one of the most glamorous aviatrixes in the world. Her record-breaking solo flights across the world were legendary. Her courage was extraordinary. Her navigational ability was extraordinary. Despite the increasing risks and the loss of so many of her fellow fliers, Batten kept going, and she kept succeeding. Yet the perfectly cultivated public persona hid some personal demons, hinted at by her sudden disappearances and periods of reclusion.
The question you ask yourself while watching Jean is: What is the price of your success? Jean achieved great things and put New Zealand on the map, gained immense recognition and she became a national hero because of it. But, with every great success, there is great sacrifice as well – she lost everything in doing so. The true story of Jean Batten will ever be known as she created her diaries and notebooks for a public persona. She was a recluse and an enigma. Probably the first social media marketing success ever!
NZ 2016, 94 min, rated PG
Directed by Robert Sarkies
Starring Kate Elliott, Miranda Harcourt, Michael Whalley, Francis Mountjoy, Lisa Chappell & Colin Moy