New Zealand drama, set and shot in Hokianga, by playwright Briar Grace-Smith and first-time director Armagan Ballantyne. Strength of Water has screened at the world's most prestigious film festivals including Cannes, Rotterdam, Berlin, Shanghai and Sydney. More
Ten-year-olds Kimi and Melody are twins living with their parents and three siblings on a farm on the Hokianga coast. Together they deliver eggs around the district - and lavish attention on a favoured hen they've named Aroha. The arrival of Tai, a teenage drifter looking to move into the local tapu house that belonged to his grandfather, precipitates a terrible accident. Kimi must learn to live apart from Melody, and Tai must learn to deal with the hostility of those in the small community who equate him with the cursed house. Meanwhile Tirea, the lonely teenage girl in whom Kimi senses a kindred spirit, finds fragile understanding with the outcast Tai. 'I'm bad luck,' says he. 'But when I look at you,' she replies, 'I see light.' The muted frankness with which the characters in this film feel out the bonds of connection is piercingly direct.
I cannot think of another New Zealand film in which the natural world is such a living entity as this - or in which animal life is so integral. The lightest of musical scores adds its quiet descant to nature's ebb and flow to remind us that the most meaningful messages are often not shouted, but whispered. (Source: NZ International Film Festival) Hide