Reluctant Revolutionary

Reluctant Revolutionary

Director Tom Scott

Producer Danny Mulheron, Tom Scott

Editor Owen Ferrier-Kerr

Sound Michael Kerslake

With Margaret Lange, Peter Lange, Michael Bassett, Jim McLay, Richard Prebble, Roger Douglas, Don McKinnon, Simon Walker, Ken Douglas, Dr Roderick Deane, Margaret Pope, Ken Richardson, Gerald Hensley, Russell Marshall, Denis McLean, Merv Norrish, Ross Vintiner

Cinematography Grant Atkinson

Screening as part of our Politics on Film series

Reluctant Revolutionary charts the meteoric rise of David Lange and his long slow, sad departure from politics. The documentary was commissioned by TVNZ to mark the 20th anniversary of the snap election that brought David Lange’s fourth Labour government into office and unleashed the whirlwind economic reforms of Roger Douglas.

These radical reforms changed the social and political landscape of New Zealand like no others before or since. The Lange government fully expected to be a one-term government, then the unexpected happened – they won the 1987 election with the help of conservative voters as the traditional Labour vote collapsed.

Reluctant Revolutionary journeys back to the heart of the storm and talks to the major players, including his wife Margaret Pope and former cabinet colleagues, about this extraordinarily gifted, fearsomely intelligent politician. It explores how his Government, which promised so much, tore itself apart in just five short years, gifting the 1990 election to National.