New film on Kiwi band Herbs to premiere at the New Zealand Film Festival

Publish Date
Wednesday, 19 June 2019, 6:36PM

The trailer for a new local film celebrating iconic Kiwi band Herbs has been released today.

HERBS: Songs of Freedom will receive its world premiere at the New Zealand International Film Festival at The Civic in Auckland on August 3 ahead of a nationwide general release on August 15.

Directed by Tearepa Kahi (Poi E: The Story of Our Song), HERBS: Songs of Freedom features interviews with the band's key living members, and shows the group jamming and sharing memories, with the film culminating in a reunion concert.

Forty years on from the band's formation in the heat of the 1970s Dawn Raids and the Bastion Point occupation, the film documents the band in the context of music as social activism.

Produced by Cliff Curtis (Merata: How Mum Decolonised the Screen, Eagle Vs Shark) and Reikura Kahi (Poi E: The Story of Our Song), HERBS: Songs of Freedom explores the success Herbs enjoyed as the much-loved pioneers of Pacific Reggae.

The band were creators of uniquely Kiwi protest songs, including the anti-nuclear track French Letter, the classic Sensitive to a Smile, and garage-party good-times anthem Long Ago.

"When I grew up, Herbs represented a new voice – they brought fresh narratives and choruses to the front line of New Zealand," explained Kahi.

"Their brand of reggae had widespread popular appeal, but they weren't just a good time, they opened our eyes to what was really happening. It's one thing to hold a placard, chant and march against a dragon. It's another to pick up red guitar and slay the dragon with reggae. And that's Herbs."

This article was first published at and is reproduced here with permission