'How change works on a global level' - Former Prime Minister Helen Clark reveals inspiration behind her new documentary

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Filmmaker Gaylene Preston wanted "to know how change works on a global level" which prompted her to pose the question to former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, and was the inspiration behind her new documentary, My Year With Helen. 

The film follows Ms Clark for a year while she battled for the job of Secretary General at the UN, other job commitments and finding time for family.
Source: Q+A

The film follows Ms Clark for a year while she battled for the job of Secretary General at the UN while also working as the head of the UN's development programme - and finding time for family.

Preston and co-producer Catherine Madigan filmed Ms Clark while she worked in Botswana, Britain, Spain and Ukraine, as well as at the UN's New York headquarters.

The film received funding from the New Zealand Film Commission, NZ On Air and private investors, and has been shown at film festivals, including the Auckland International Film Festival.

Speaking on TVNZ 1's Q+A programme, Ms Clark said Ms Preston approached her due "to doing some interesting things in a world that had a lot of issues and challenges."

"When I declared for the Secretary General contest, it became a different film but still in a way how you change international systems," Ms Clark said. 

"I thought of course the film must go on and in retrospect, also and at the time, because New Zealand was so behind the campaign, the government was behind the campaign, the Kiwi tax payer funded it, I think there was an obligation to tell that story.

"It didn’t end is success but people took a lot of pride in it so the film brings out a lot of issues that I think New Zealanders are pretty interested in."

During her battle for the job, Ms Clark said she wanted to stay in the running as she was conscious about what message it would send to woman if she pulled out. 

"Clearly I could’ve done that job, I had been a prime minister and I think a reasonably successful one for nine years… If I couldn’t be taken serious as a candidate, what woman could ever be taken seriously and there were other serious woman candidates as well who could’ve done the job.

"I think there were two withdrawals but all the other women candidates all stuck in to the end ready to make a point that we are serious candidates."

My Year with Helen will be released in New Zealand cinemas on August 31.

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