The First Maori Girl to be a film star in a full-length story feature is Kay Ngarimu, of Ruatoria, who is playing Rawi in the Pacific Films production Broken Barrier, to be released shortly. Broken Barrier, directed and produced by Roger Mirams and John O'Shea, is the story of a love affair between a Maori girl and a Pakeha. It plays on the East Coast and is mainly shot at Mahia peninsula. Other actors are Terence Bayler, professional actor now in England, co-starring with Kay Ngarimu, and Maera Hapu, George Ormond. Lily Te Nahu, all of Mahia, and others.
When asked by Te Ao Hou what was the purpose of Broken Barrier, Mr O'Shea said:
Our first purpose was entertainment. It is just a love affair; of course I can't tell you yet what the ending will be.’ Broken Barrier also, incidentally, tries to show the reactions to a marriage between a Maori and a Pakeha in a country which prides itself on its lack of prejudice. ‘We take as our text the United Nations declaration of rights: there should be no discrimination,’ said Mr O'Shea. ‘Because we were Pakehas, we were conscious of Pakeha discrimination. Maybe the film errs in now showing Maori discrimination against the Pakeha.’
Pacific Films have so far only made shorts. Asked whether they now expected to make a fortune, Mr O'Shea said: ‘Film companies in a small country like this can at most hope to go on existing. It is a job for people who are keen to make pictures, not money.’ He expressed gratitude for the help the Maori people of the East Coast had given him.