Auckland cult victim at centre of new film

Morning Talk 25/07/2018
Photo: NZIFF.

Angie Meiklejohn is a survivor of the infamous Centrepoint commune located just north of Auckland by Bert Potter.

Angie and her brother and two sisters arrived at Centrepoint in 1985 after their mother fell in love with a community member.

Initially Angie and her siblings were happy to be living in the beautiful setting, they’d never lived anywhere as nice, but that all changed as the young ones were at the mercy of the depraved Bert Potter.

As we now know, his alternative lifestyle settlement was from the idyllic setting it was made out to be.

Her story has been portrayed in a new film, being screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival.

The film’s director Costa Botes told RadioLIVE’s Mark Sainsbury that while the Centrepoint commune forms “the dark heart of the story”, the film is actually more of an inquiry into Angie Meiklejohn’s life and experiences.

“I was actually approached about making a film about Centrepoint and I immediately said no,” Mr Botes said. “I don’t want to go there. Too much hurt, too many damaged people.”

Mr Botes says, however, as a result of that conversation, he was introduced to Angie and was compelled by her story.

“I did become pretty intrigued by her story as an individual. We were talking and she said that she had a great deal of difficulty establishing intimate relationships with people she loved, but she had no problem at all finding sexual fulfilment with people she didn’t love.

“I thought that’s a conundrum because it’s sort of the opposite of what most of us expect or want,” Mr Botes told RadioLIVE.

Angie is screening at the New Zealand International Film Festival, heading to 15 towns and cities across the country throughout July and August.

The festival show cases full features, documentaries and films.

Listen to the full interview with Costa Botes above.

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