The Life and Art of JC Sturm Documentary

JC Sturm
James Baxter and JC Sturm

A visual biography of an acclaimed M?ori woman writer – BROKEN JOURNEY: THE LIFE AND ART OF JC STURM – will screen for the first time in M?ori Television’s New Zealand Documentary slot, Pakipumeka Aotearoa, on Wednesday October 17 at 8.30 PM.

Jacqueline Cecelia Sturm (Taranaki, Whakatohea), now aged 80, reflects on her life and the influences that shaped her writing including her early years in the Taranaki coastal town of Opunake as well as the impact of her local pa, Parihaka.

Fostered at age three by an affluent Pakeha family, JC Sturm was one of the first M?ori women to graduate from university. She was married to a great New Zealand poet, James K Baxter, and became a renowned kaituhi (poet) in her own right.

Director Tim Rose from Paekakariki-based Kapiti Productions, whose parents lived next door to the Baxter wh?nau in Wellington, says he has known Jacqui “pretty much since the day I was born”.

Rose says the hour-long documentary is an intimate story of a long, well-lived life. As she tells the story of her life, a narration in the M?ori language will paint the picture of parallel events in New Zealand society – the depression and the war; urbanisation; the changing role of M?ori women; and M?ori women in literature.

“I have spent time with Jacqui in the last couple of months talking with her about her life and the things that have influenced her writing. The more time I spend, the more the stories flow.

“At times very personal, they weave from home and family to literary history and culture and a changing story. It’s a jigsaw of treasures, each piece essential to the other and in total, the key to national knowledge and collection.”

BROKEN JOURNEY: THE LIFE AND ART OF JC STURM screens in M?ori Television’s New Zealand Documentary slot, Pakipumeka Aotearoa, on Wednesday October 17 at 8.30 PM.

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