Dir: Lee Tamohari
New Zealand, 1994
I've seen this film twice, and I will not watch it again. Even though the story is compelling, the acting is spectacular and it pulls all your emotions throughout the film. But it is so painful, its is almost too much to watch. Well quite frankly for me, now it is too much to watch. This was the first film that shifted my view on violence in film/tv. The odd thing is, this didn't happen while I was watching it. I was working at a bookstore and someone asked me what I had read most recently, and it was the book based on this film. She asked me to describe it. (HUGE content spoiler inc....) I said "Its about a Maori Family where the husband is extremely abusive to his wife, and how the family copes with that in their day to day life". And she said.... "That sounds interesting". I stared at her. I thought about what I had just said. I was like, what do you mean interesting? That's awful!! Why do you want to see that? Why did I want to see it? And I realized I don't, I have since then developed having almost zero tolerance for that kind of violence and abuse in film. It isn't 'entertainment' in my book.
This film is included as part of The most influential films to me list.
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© Shannon Ridler, 2006