“Brother Number One” Screening & Discussion w/ Filmmaker Annie Goldson – 5 March 2012

Synopsis: Olympian and Trans-Atlantic rowing champion New Zealander Rob Hamill travels to Cambodia seeking justice for his eldest brother Kerry who, along with two sailing mates, was murdered by the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge regime in 1978.

In 1978, Kerry Hamill, a young Kiwi, was on board his yacht with two others when they anchored near the Cambodian coast to shelter from a storm. They had sailed unknowingly from the hippie era of “love and freedom” into Year Zero. Along with Englishman John Dewhirst, Kerry was seized and tortured for two months at the Khmer Rouge slaughterhouse, Tuol Sleng (S21).

The film follows Kerry’s youngest brother Rob Hamill, an Olympic and Trans-Atlantic rowing champion, in his quest for justice. It was during the Atlantic row, 41 days of solitude at sea, that Rob began to properly grieve. Some years later, he heard there was to be a war crimes tribunal, the ECCC, in Cambodia and he decided to participate.

As well as giving his statement in court, Rob discovers the scenario surrounding the capture, incarceration, and murder of his brother. He travels with Cambodian translator Kulikar Sotho, a survivor who tells her story in parallel with Rob’s. Rob’s journey ends in a confrontation in court with Comrade Duch, former Commander at S-21, who ordered Kerry and John’s torture and death. 14,000 Cambodians met the same end at S-21.

Annie Goldson – Biography
Annie has been producing and directing award-winning documentaries, docudramas and experimental film/video for 20 years in the United States and New Zealand.

She is known for producing films that are both politically engaged and formally innovative, such as Punitive Damage (2000), a remarkable story of an idealistic young man, and his mother’s determination and courage to ensure that her son did not die in vain. Annie’s most recent films include; Sheilas: 28 Years On (2004), a history of second-wave feminism in New Zealand; From Afghanistan to Aotearoa (2005); Elgar’s Enigma: Biography of a Concerto (2006) and An Island Calling (2008). Goldson is also a writer. In 2006, her book Memory, Landscape, Dad and Me was released through Victoria University Publications. She is currently in progress on a book on human rights documentary, After the Fact: Documentary, Human Rights and International Law.

Annie received her PhD in Film and Television Studies from the University of Auckland and is currently a Professor at the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at that institution.

ENTRY: $5 (suggested donation)
This event is open to the public. Parking fees discounted after 6pm, or with validated ticket from AFTRS.