Kiwi film-maker Gaylene Preston says she didn't set out to expose the UN in her latest documentary.

But while My Year With Helen is designed as a portrait of one of our own, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, the focus on her bid to be Secretary General reveals the closed-door politicking and archaic attitudes rife at the supposedly transparent world body.

With candidate-swapping, block voting and vetos, the film suggest an organisation as slippery as the much-maligned IOC or FIFA and a voting process akin to the Vatican's anointing of a new pope. There's even a depiction of white smoke, something Preston puts down to "a little film-makery joke", but that was really billowing just outside the UN that day. 

read the full interview here: