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Movie and book on way for Wahine disaster

Apr 15th, 2013 | By | Category: Front Page Layout, News, Top Picture

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 THE WAHINE story could become as big as The Titanic if an award-winning film-maker’s screenplay gets the go-ahead.

BBC journalist Sharon Barbour’s documentary about the Wahine disaster has been nominated, selected for film festivals around the world.

Mrs Barbour (pictured right with a Wahine model, detailed above, at Wellington Museum of City and Sea) believes the story of the Wahine disaster deserves wider exposure.

“The Titanic is massive internationally,” she says.

“I think the Wahine is a bigger story. Why hasn’t the world got to grips with that?”

Her film “has been used in documentaries, it’s been shown in Hollywood, at documentary festivals and film festivals, and they all have never heard of it [Wahine].”

But don’t count on Sir Peter Jackson picking it up any time soon. His office says his production schedule is full for the next seven years.

She wants to turn her Wahine drama into a book before offering it as a screenplay for a movie.

BBC screen critics who read her screen proposal liked it, she says.

“The film will address some very powerful issues that unfolded that day. It’s powerful, it’s very personal and it’s a story, it’s not factual, it’s not doco-y, it’s not newsy.”

Wellington’s Museum of City & Sea plays a vital role in keeping the Wahine story alive.

“It is so vital having a place for people to come, for survivors to come, to share their stories, for more people to tell their stories. And to increase their knowledge of the story.”

Mrs Barbour hopes her Wahine film will make the 45-year-old story relevant to younger people.

“We’re in a really fast-moving world…it makes you more whole if you understand more about your history and have a grasp of the events that help shape the people and to be very proud of that day, as well. It was real Kiwi strength that got people to shore.”

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is Born in Wellington, exported to the Te Nehenehenui by my Nanni. Now working as a Native for the betterment of society.
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