Rain of the Children

Rain of the Children

Poster for Rain of the Children

Vincent Ward's film unravels and re-imagines the story of Puhi, the Tuhoe woman he documented in 1978 for his early film In Spring One Plants Alone. Then she was 80 and caring for her schizophrenic adult son, and Ward was 21, a young art student capturing her way of life. While not the subject of his earlier film, Puhi believed herself to be cursed, and this unknowable curse is what preoccupies Ward now.

Puhi, he discovers, was chosen by Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana to marry his son, she survived the 1916 police raid on Rua's Maungapohatu community and went on to have 14 children. Cutting between early footage, his own to-camera narration, contemporary interviews with Tuhoe descendents, and recreated historical sequences; Ward reveals both the heartrending background of Puhi's belief in the curse, and her lasting power over him. [Source: Sydney Film Festival 07]

2008Rating: M, violence, offensive language102 minsNew Zealand
DocumentaryDrama
Director:
Vincent Ward ('River Queen', 'What Dreams May Come', 'Map of the Human Heart', 'The Navigator', 'Vigil')
Writer:
Vincent Ward
Cast:
Miriama RangiRena OwenTemuera MorrisonTaungaroa EmileWaihoroi ShortlandToby MorehuMahue TawaMikaira TawharaHarmony Wihapi

Streaming (2 Providers)

Rain of the Children | Awards

Award Winner
Best Original Music, NZ Film Awards 2008.

Rain of the Children | Reviews

Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

The subject of this film is Puhi; a spirited, fascinating and very endearing old lady. A hunched and haunted figure, with a face you could look at for hours; you very quickly get the impression Puhi - or 'Nanny' - has had a hell of a life. We are introduced to her in her eighties, living an insular existence in the Urewera Ranges near Gisborne and still caring for her schizophrenic adult son Niki (who is no less intriguing). This strange and tense family unit was also the subject of Ward's short documentary In Spring One Plants Alone, made 30 years ago. Puhi died shortly after that, but since then director Vincent Ward has harboured a hunch - that a dark undercurrent he observed held a much bigger story. Compelled, he revisits the subject in the brilliant Rain of the Children.

Full review
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

In exploring the fascinating past of a character in one of his earlier films, director Vincent Ward gets in the way of his own storytelling.

Full review
Newshub

Newshub

Ward narrates his story both on camera and in voice-over, and once I settled in and got used to that, I found the film a compelling watch.

Full review
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

In the stunning docu-drama "Rain of the Children," New Zealand-born filmmaker Vincent Ward revisits the past to unravel a mystery that's niggled at him for three decades. Here meticulous research reveals the family secrets burdening the stooped old Maori woman who was, in fact, the subject of Ward's 1978 observational film "In Spring One Plants Alone." It's a masterful companion piece -- a kind of marathon director's cut -- but it also stands alone as a haunting historical epic. "Rain" is guaranteed a warm art house reception.

Full review

Rain of the Children | Release Details

Rain of the Children is available to stream in New Zealand now on NZ Film On Demand and AroVision.