Telling tough stories with Professor Annie Goldson

Brother Number One is a documentary directed and produced by Professor Annie Goldson from the Department of Film Television & Media Studies.

New Zealand yachtie Kerry Hamill was captured, tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in 1978. The documentary follows his brother, Olympic rower Rob Hamill, on his journey to Cambodia to piece together what happened to Kerry. The film was launched at the New Zealand International Film Festival in 2011 and released in cinemas nationwide on 8 March 2012.

Close Up

Annie Goldson was interviewed on TVNZ's Close Up prior to the cinema launch.

Watch the interview on TVNZ's website.


Ready Steady Learn

Listen to Professor Annie Goldson discuss her film on 95bFMs Ready Steady Learn.

Annie, known for her powerful human rights documentaries, prises open a devasting period in South East Asian history – the genocide of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge followers. It was a time when, in the wake of the Vietnam War, the world seemed to look away while two million Cambodians were killed.

The story is also one of the torture and murder of a carefree Kiwi yachtie Kerry Hamill caught up by the madness. It follows the journey of Kerry’s younger brother, Rob Hamill, Olympic and trans-Atlantic champion rower, who travels to Cambodia to retrace those fateful steps taken by his brother Kerry and friend John Dewhirst, speaking with eyewitnesses, perpetrators and survivors.

Annie concedes that balancing history with personal emotional pain is always quite a difficult thing. “In Brother Number One,” she says “we’ve done quite well.”

As with most films, the project has been a collaborative effort and on board in various archival, editing, publicity outreach capacities have been three of the FTVMS department’s own masters graduates: Melissa Kent, Kate Stevenson and Creda Wilson as well as current masters student and recent Fulbright scholar Ghazaleh Golbakhsh.