Rain of the Children

Rain of the Children

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]

Best Original Music, NZ Film Awards 2008.
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
93%
want to see

Reviews & comments

Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

flicks

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.

4.0
0

Heart-wrenching

Beautifully done and pulled at the heart-strings. A film like this is few and far between and I could watch this film over and over again.

5.0
0

The best kiwi film of 2008

A really great insight into our history, and our national identity. Well done.

5.0
0

Beautiful

This should have opened the NZ film festival! Knowing nothing about Ward's earlier film, nor the historical backdrop of this story - i found it hugely insightful and endlessly fascinating. Make sure you catch it.

5.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Compelling and heart-wrenching.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

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.

4.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

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.

3.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

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.

0
Flicks, Team

Flicks, Team

flicks

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.

4.0
0
Variety

Variety

press

Compelling and heart-wrenching.

0
New Zealand Herald

New Zealand Herald

press

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.

4.0
0
Newshub

Newshub

press

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.

3.0
0
Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

press

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.

0

Heart-wrenching

Beautifully done and pulled at the heart-strings. A film like this is few and far between and I could watch this film over and over again.

5.0
0

The best kiwi film of 2008

A really great insight into our history, and our national identity. Well done.

5.0
0

Beautiful

This should have opened the NZ film festival! Knowing nothing about Ward's earlier film, nor the historical backdrop of this story - i found it hugely insightful and endlessly fascinating. Make sure you catch it.

5.0
0