Trouble Is My Business: Movie Review
Cast: Gary Peach, Various students of Auckland's Aorere
Director: Juliette Veber
A documentary set in south Auckland, Trouble is my Business is the story of
one teacher determined to make a difference in students' lives.
When we first see Assistant Principal Gary Peach, he's got a megaphone and is
prowling through the school's play ground rushing kids to class - and making
sure they don't bunk off.
The film concentrates on some of his students - who all present him with
various problems, heartaches and ultimately happinesses.
Alicia is being bullied and starts wagging school; Mosese is finding himself
mixed up with drugs and on the verge of gangs; Jesse has learning difficulties
and is struggling and Jade is about to miss the most important exams of her
Veber's first time doco is not a new story when it comes to truancy and
trouble in South Auckland - sadly, the story is all too common and the issues
all too familiar for anyone who sees the news or lives in the area.
But by singling out a teacher, who's not always loved by fellow teachers and
whose methods aren't always appreciated by those who he's targeting, she manages
to evoke a sense of worth from all those involved.
Trouble is my Business is not an easy watch in places - but because its
central participant (Peach) is so engaging and so dogged in pursuing what he
feels is right for the kids, you can't help but feel pulled into the story.
Clearly Veber has had unfettered access to the students, their teacher and
their families - they're at ease with the cameras around them.
The fact this was filmed back in 2004 simply goes to demonstrate how
universal are the problems tackled within.
The kids in this doco aren't facing problems unique to south Auckland - any
parent of a kid in a low socio economic background will recognize the various
issues raised here.
Some may feel inspired by Peach and his persistent ways; some may feel
disappointed to see south Auckland in the spotlight.
However, the portrait which emerges of the south Auckland community is one of
the individual making a difference.
Ultimately uplifting and inspiring, Trouble Is My Business is a confident
start for a film maker.