The Hammer and the Anvil is a documentary history of the New Zealand trade union movement told through the lives of workers. Participants recall with both sadness and a lively sense of humour their battles for better working conditions, particularly in the bitter industrial disputes of 1912, 1913 and 1951, and reminisce about the struggle to survive during the Depression years of the 1930s.
Warmth and defiance are conveyed in the songs of coal-miners, wharfies and labourers which punctuate the soundtrack. The film depicts the decline of inner-city working-class communities of Herne Bay and Freemans Bay, includes footage of the Mangere Bridge strike, and the new challenges facing unions in the modern workplace.
57 mins preceded by new archival film clips from Ngā Taonga Sound and Vision.
Produced and directed by Merata Mita and Gerd Polhman in 1980.