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Beyond the Battalion

Beyond the Battalion

Beyond the Battalion traces the footsteps of kiwi filmmaker Michael Havas, in particular his unlikely relationship with Ned Nathan who would draw him to the inner circle of the 28th Māori Battalion as they documented the 1977 pilgrimage to the battle fields of World War Two. The resulting film Sons of Tu-mata-uenga tells the story of that pilgrimage. Forty years on Beyond the Battalion links the past and the present.

“People will be able to see their fathers, their grandfathers, their uncles, their mums, their aunts, for the very first time in a way they’ve never seen them before. Every time that we get to see these things builds another part of our understanding and appreciation of them and what they did, what they achieved. Hopefully we can contexualise that and take it into our own daily lives.” — Julian Arahanga

The 28th Māori Battalion

The Māori Battalion volunteered two days after the Second World War began and remained voluntary throughout. This was an unusual achievement. More than 7,000 Māori soldiers fought with distinction overseas but suffered a terrible casualty rate of five in seven. To honour their service, this week we are screening this film (along with Maori Battalion Returns (1946) and Sons of Tu Mata Uenga (1979)). On 23 January we will also be launching an online exhibition – look for it on the Home Page of our website.