She has covered a wide range of roles from presenting (Queer Nation, TVNZ) to writing comedy (Facelift, TVNZ) to producing a kid's quiz show (The Simon Elliot Show, TV3). As a writer Robyn has also published two books; Tips from your Nana and sequel Tips from your Grandad (Longacre Press/Random House). Finding Mercy is Robyn's debut documentary feature film.
About Finding Mercy
NEW ZEALAND 2012 / 75min.
Director Robyn Paterson. Producer Leanne Pooley.
At the age of eight, New Zealand filmmaker Robyn Paterson felt honoured as she stood on the runway of a Zimbabwean air force with her best friend, Mercy. They were about to meet their hero -Comrade Robert Mugabe - in person.
They greeted the leader with flowers while the cameras snapped on. With Robyn pale skinned and Mercy dark, they were the poster children meant to represent the new, reformed Zimbabwe. Yet the reality was extremely different. Even then, Mercy's Matabele tribe was being silently massacred by Mugabe's special forces less than two hours away.
Paterson's family left for a new life in New Zealand while Mercy's family was not so lucky. But Paterson never forgot her best friend. Two decades later, Paterson returns to Zimbabwe on a high-risk ground search for answers, and for Mercy.
Posing as a tourist coming home to see her boyfriend, Paterson and her cameraman are under constant scrutiny as they film in a country hostile to press. Through Paterson's new discoveries she grapples with the decline of what was once her beloved home.
Paterson's debut feature documentary is not only a personal search but becomes a guided tour of a nation on its knees.