An election on the horizon, Alister Barry’s documentary expose (from Nicky Hager’s book) gets a timely rerun at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre, from September 18.

“SURE WE COULD play the race card, but how would we run the country on Monday?” Jim Bolger wisely said. Yet under Brash-Key the party of Doug Graham centred their 2005 campaign on exploiting and encouraging racism and bigotry. Alister Barry (Someone Else’s Country) skilfully adapts Nicky Hager’s dynamite book; like Orewa Speech author Peter Keenan’s email that he hates the race-based privilege line. Keenan described the slogan as ludicrous given Maori are at the bottom of the heap.

Under the radar Mary English has said she hated the Orewa speech, but that didn’t stop Bill English — National’s Education Guru and Mr Moderate — from endorsing Brash’s order that schools stop teaching kids that the Treaty is a partnership between Maori and Pakeha. The Hollow Men documents this damaging — and unfinished — business with some impressive audiovisual footage.

There’s that clip of John Key arrogantly dismissing any personal worry about the book because it’s “not true”. His subsequent spin, typically, farcically made the dominant question by the media, is “who hacked HQ and stole the emails?” (I’m going with the lycra-clad Parekura Horomia abseiler theory!). Slippery John smugly echoes Brash’s most divisive dog-whistling and meets Exclusive Brethren leadership: “Good to see you again.”

Moana Jackson quietly, but with considerable emotional and moral mana, gives Gerry Griffin the smackdown, powerfully explaining the Treaty of Waitangi.

New Zealand’s Corporate Media Cartel’s overall anti-democratic, right-wing partiality, particularly The National Herald, is shameless. The Hollow Men, countering the Cartel’s structural biases and incompetence, is a must-see. Watching this documentary I was reminded of Chico Marx’s timeless quip: “Who you gonna believe, me or your own eyes?”—P K Carlson