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Great War Stories, Series 5

Great War Stories

Director Anna Cottrell

Production Co AC Productions

Editor Peter Metcalf

We are delighted to present the fifth and final series of AC Productions’ Great War Stories.

Producer, director Anna Cottrell calls these short films about New Zealanders in the First World War, ‘haiku’ documentaries. The Editor, Peter Metcalf describes them as ‘hand-made.’

The invasion of Samoa begins the series, which also includes episodes on Rewi Alley, the most famous New Zealander in China for many years; the story of Pixie Laing from Dunedin, who danced with the Folies Bergeres in Paris before stepping off the stage to drive ambulances; the story of Hjelma Von Dannevill, the only woman to be held in solitary confinement on Somes Island after she was accused of being a German Spy; and the liberation of Le Quesnoy.

“These stories are personal, moving and a tribute to all those who were caught up in a war not of their making. The price was high and deep scars are felt generations later. It has been a privilege to shine a light on personal stories. None celebrate war,” says Cottrell.

The previous four series are posted on the NZ History website.