One Thousand Ropes

One Thousand Ropes

One Thousand Ropes

A father reconnects with his estranged teenage daughter in this drama from Samoan New Zealand writer-director Tusi Tamasese (The Orator). Set in Wellington, New Zealand.

"An old man buries a placenta underneath a lemon tree. Later, we see his hand gently rolling a lemon back and forth on a table, as if he were massaging it. Besides his job at the bakery Maea also works as a traditional birth attendant, a task that requires him to competently massage the bellies of pregnant women. At home tell-tale pale stains on the wall bear witness to pictures that have been removed – Maea has distanced himself from his family following a traumatic and violent episode.

"But then one day his daughter Ilisa appears at his door. She is pregnant, and has also been physically abused by her boyfriend. What’s more, the spirit of a woman who frequently appears to be sitting in the corner of his living room suddenly decides not to want to go back to her grave in the cemetery. Unfolding in impressive, mythical images of compelling concentration, Tamasese tells a story about a man trying to face his past, his daughter and his inner 'demons'." (Berlin International Film Festival)

2016Rating: M, Violence & content that may disturb98 minsNew ZealandSamoan and English with English subtitles
Drama

Streaming (2 Providers)

One Thousand Ropes / Reviews

Flicks, Liam Maguren

Flicks, Liam Maguren

Pixar legend Andrew Stanton did a TED talk about how to tell a great story. In it, he shared this piece of sage advice – don’t give them ‘4’; give them ‘2 + 2’. It essentially means that while you can directly tell an audience your message, it’s far more powerful if you make them come to that conclusion themselves. With One Thousand Ropes, Tusi Tamasese pulls off that kind of smart storytelling, and that’s what ultimately makes it one of the most intelligent films to come out of New Zealand and Samoa.

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Stuff

Stuff

It is his [Petaia's] unshowy performance and quiet demeanour that makes his character's "transition" from a violent past all the more powerful.

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Stuff

Stuff

...an intoxicating film which is beautifully told.

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Screen Daily

Screen Daily

[Delivers] enough intrigue, craft and slow-burning command of mood and atmosphere to win festival circuit favour...

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New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

An exhausting and moving experience - in a good way.

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Newsroom

Newsroom

Gloomy, bleak and slow-moving - and all the more powerful because of it.

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Newshub

Newshub

An intimate, confronting and haunting story which I found profoundly moving...

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

Combines melancholy domestic drama with spiritual and supernatural elements, and while the latter could have been more robustly developed, a quiet power accumulates nonetheless.

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