What Really Happened: Votes for Women
In What Really Happened - Waitangi, we established a particular style of story telling, where a 'time traveller' went back to the Bay of Islands, 1840, to record 'what really happened', by observing and interviewing various historical characters. In Waitangi, we concentrated on a period of roughly 4 days (which compressed actual events that occurred over about 2 weeks) and used some real historical figures, as well as creating some imaginary ones (or composite ones) to help convey various attitudes and events. There was a rough and ready tone to our show that reflected the confusion and accidental nature of the treaty.
In What Really Happened - The Women's Vote, we have continued with the technique of the time travelling observer, but this time our story is told over a period of about one year. It is October 1892, and the Documentary Maker (this time, female) has arrived at Kate Sheppard's house to tell the story of her involvement in the suffrage campaign. A petition with over 20,000 signatures has recently been presented to Parliament and it's expected by many, that women will finally be enfranchised after seven years of intense campaigning.
However, there is a last minute 'betrayal' by the government and the bill is defeated in the Legislative Council. So the Documentary Maker continues to cover the campaign for nearly a year, through all the highs and lows, travelling also to Wellington, Dunedin and Auckland, until September 1893, when the women of NZ finally gain the vote. Key figures in the campaign are interviewed and observed - from Kate Sheppard's House, to Parliament House in Wellington, to the Sweat Shops of Dunedin. Photographs and political cartoons at the time are used as well.
The end result is a 'fly on the wall' style documentary film, dramatising some of the key moments in the final year of the campaign for women's suffrage in NZ.