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Juliet Gerrard: Science in a Dark Time

A documentary about the life and career of the New Zealand Chief Science Advisor and the crises she faced over the years 2020-2021.

As the Prime Minister's Chief Science Advisor during the last Labour Government, Dame Juliet Gerrard became a central figure in the way New Zealand reacted to unprecidented crises, providing important scientific advice from which our leaders took guidance.

Science now plays a greater role in our lives than ever before, and New Zealand has attracted worldwide attention for its success in minimising the impact of Covid-19 and cutting-edge work in genome testing. Recorded over three extraordinary years (and through dramatic national and global crises, including the eruption of Whakaari White Island, global pandemic and the ongoing effects of climate change), documentary filmmaker Shirley Horrocks captures the woman at the forefront of it all.

The film, which had its world premiere at NZIFF2021, examines Juliet's unorthodox trajectory, from a provincial high school to a first-class honours degree in Chemistry at Oxford, her 1997 move to Christchurch and eventual ascent to one of the nation's most respected scientists. Gerrard welcomes us into her laboratory and "bunker", the national emergency headquarters in the basement of the Beehive, where she collaborates with some of the country's top minds.

Juliet Gerrard: Science in a Dark Time at the New Zealand International Film Festival

82 minutes



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