New Zealand’s millennial MP, Chlöe Swarbrick, challenges the establishment during the most important year of her political career.
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“You may not know her name, but Chlöe Swarbrick’s chastisement of an older colleague made headlines around the world. “OK Boomer”, spoken from the floor of parliament, went viral internationally and served as an emblematic moment for a generation of political activists that refuse to wait in line. Elected as a Member of Parliament at only 23, making her the youngest elected MP in New Zealand, Swarbrick unapologetically challenges the political status-quo with strong stances on economic and political equality with a rare combination of dedication and idealism. In the nine-minute short OK Chlöe, part of the famous Loading Docs series, director Charlotte Evans allows us access to Swarbrick’s personal and professional life as the ‘millennial MP’—offering us a glimpse into the New Zealand political system and what it takes to enact change.
With a background in music videos and commercials, this is Evans’ first venture into the documentary medium. “We were fascinated by the global movement of younger female politicians who are deeply progressive and unafraid to speak their mind in the pursuit for change”, the filmmaker tells us while discussing what led them to create a film about Swarbrick.
Having such a charismatic and inspiring subject surely fuels one’s creativity, but since the film was shot the pandemic hit and now giving center stage to someone who is actively trying to change things and shake up the political system’s inadequacies automatically has a much deeper meaning. “It felt more important than ever to showcase a politician that is willing to risk everything to fight for what they believe in”, Evans adds, “the world is not going to be in a good place for our children and our children’s children if we sit back and do nothing”.
Initially, it was Swarbrick’s positions on issues such as the environment and mental health, let alone what she represents for the millennial generation (and the ones after), that inspired Evans. Originally planning to follow her campaign for the Auckland Central electorate, in true documentary fashion, the final narrative for OK Chlöe only emerged and formed as they were shooting. Detouring from her original plan, Evans’ documentary ended up going in a direction that instead shone a light on the toll of being an MP and how working in such an outdated, broken political system can be extremely toxic. Later, once the pandemic had changed the world and politicians in New Zealand started speaking out about how their jobs affect their mental health, it was in the editing room that they truly shaped the story…. *READ the FULL REVIEW on Short of the Week* – S/W Curator, Céline Roustan
DIRECTOR – Charlotte Evans
PRODUCER – Letisha Tate-Dunning
DIRECTORS OF PHOTOGRAPHY – Kirk Pflaum, Gregoire Lière, Bill Bycroft, Ryan Alexander Lloyd, Clayton Carpinter
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS – Amanda Jane Robinson, Sarah Anne Dudley
EDITOR – Dion Schmidt
COLOURIST – Mikee Carpinter
SOUND RECORDISTS – Dean Judd, Darrell Green, Tony Spear, Joey Siasoco
VFX ARTIST – Richard Borg
STILLS PHOTOGRAPHER – Oliver Crawford
POST PRODUCTION FACILITY – Department of Post
POST SUPERVISORS – Mark Taylor, Lauren Carr
ONLINE EDITOR – Joss Hardman
RE-RECORDING MIXER – Luana Barnes
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER – Julia Parnell
CONSULTING PRODUCER – Anna Jackson
PRODUCER – Juliette Veber
MARKETING MANAGER – Christopher Connolly
Written By: Stella Bennett, Jason Schoushkoff and Joshua Fountain © Sony/ATV Songs LLC and Sony/ATV Music Publishing (UK) Limited
Licenced by: Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Australia) Pty Ltd
Administered by: Universal Music Publishing Pty Ltd
Performed by: BENEE
Licenced courtesy of Universal Music New Zealand Limited
“Call the Days”
Written by: Nadia Reid-O’Reilly (c) Published by: Blue Raincoat Songs Limited Administered by: Kobalt Music Publishing Australia Pty Ltd
Performed by: Nadia Reid
Kindly provided by Nadia Reid and Slow Time Records
ARCHIVE COURTESY OF
TVNZ via Getty Images
NZ Herald / NZME
New Zealand Herald cartoon by Rod Emmerson
Funded by New Zealand On Air in association with NZ Film Commission and Te Māngai Pāho.
Reproduced on this channel with the permission of the filmmakers.