February 6th, 2012: Forgotten Silver (1995)

Cast and Crew:  Costa Botes (Co-Director); Sue Rogers (Producer); Leonard Maltin, Sam Neil, Harvey Weinstein

What It’s About: Filmmaker Peter Jackson discovers that his neighbor is the widow of the great New Zealand film pioneer Colin McKenzie, who invented not only the motion picture, but, among other things, synchronized sound and color film before his untimely death.

Why Watch it Today?: Today is Waitangi Day, which marks the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 by representatives of the British Crown and over 500 Māori chiefs.  The Treaty is New Zealand’s founding document, and the day is a public holiday, if a controversial one.  Forgotten Silver would be controversial, with its claims of a single Kiwi inventing everything from powered flight to the first dubbed kung fu film, if it were not a mockumentary.  Originally presented on TV in New Zealand as truth, Forgotten Silver is convincingly steeped in real film history without losing its sense of humor.

Where to Get It: Netflix (Rental Only)

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