A brilliant New Zealand film was screened Friday night in Washington, D.C. It is called "3 Mile Limit" and is based on the true story of the fight to get independent radio onto the airwaves. It was screened before an enthusiastic audience at the Washington, D.C. Independent Film Festival. Before the film, the audience was treated to wonderful New Zealand meat pies, wine, and beer.
The film was based on the tumultuous period of l965 when 23-year-old journalist Richard Davis struggled to get a private radio station on the air (Radio Hauraki) and broadcast rock and roll to a younger generation of New Zealanders.
The New Zealand Government authorities would not grant them a license, since they sponsored the government's Broadcast stations (this was especially interesting to me, since I was the Washington correspondent for Radio New Zealand for about 20 years, and then did some work for private NZ stations).
The film is gripping and brilliantly acted and directed. It will be released in NZ and I hope it will make its way to general distribution around the world. It is in the category of "Once Were Warriors" and "Whale Riders."
It does not have the flash and violence of the Rings movies or "Avatar," or the general gruesome scenarios of many of the early NZ films. But there is tension, romance, a ship wreck (of their original ship which broadcast their pirate radio station) and a drowning. I had no knowledge of their struggle, and neither do most people. It is timely in this new period where people around the world are private producers in the fields of music, news, internet, or many other fields. I hope people around the world have a chance to see "3 Mile Limit."