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Politics is a dirty business. Award-winning documentary maker Alister Barry (Someone Else’s Country, In a Land of Plenty) brings this exposé of behind-the-scenes politics in an all-too-real political thriller.
We watch the Brash team develop and then put into effect their plans to win the 2005 New Zealand general election. Once in power they intended to complete the radical right transformation of New Zealand society – their ‘unfinished business’ from the 1980s and 1990s. Helped by Australian and American political strategists, and funded by big business and a tiny elite of the super rich, the Brash team deftly played the race card, the immigration card, the tax cut card and ‘dog whistle’ politics, in an attempt to influence so-called ‘soft voters’.
Based on thousands of confidential emails, reports and memos written by Brash and his closest advisers, “The Hollow Men” is an extraordinary story of unprincipled and anti-democratic politics.
It also provides some fascinating insights into the strategies of Crosby Textor Group, a company specializing in political strategy and campaigns. Textor was Tony Abbott and the Liberal Party’s key strategist for the last Federal Election.