Bread and Roses
Set in New Zealand and spanning twenty years, this moving drama begins during World War II when Sonja falls in love with a young American soldier who is sent away to fight in the Pacific. Pregnant and unwed, Sonja learns that he will not return. Once her daughter Penny is born she attempts to return to nursing to support her child. Instead she is diagnosed with tuberculosis and, separated from her baby, embarks on a life and death struggle.
The reappearance of Charlie Davies, and old friend and recently returned serviceman, marks a turning point. They marry and he devotes himself to her recovery. Reunited with Penny they become a family and set out to share in the new life promised after the war. Struggles with shortages, bureaucracy, and ill-health hamper their efforts but Sonja emerges again as a survivor.
A pacifist by inclination, Sonja finds her political strength amongst women and comes to public attention as one of the ring-leaders of a 1955 "sit-down" protest on a railway line threatened with closure - protest that scandalised the natoin but awakened in Sonja the knowledge that the efforts of the individual could make a difference.
A survivor, who knew that mere survival was not enough either for herself or for the rest of society, Sonja Davies has lived her life believing everyone should share in both the Bread AND Roses.
Bread and Roses was originally formatted for both cinema and television release. The three hour film is based on the true story of New Zealander Sonja Davies, a feminist, trade unionist and politician.
Best Actress (NZ Film Awards)