Vigil

Vigil

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Vigil

Vigil has forever cemented its reputation in New Zealand cinematic history by being the first film to be in official competition at the uber prestigious Cannes Film Festival in 1984. Vincent Ward's directorial debut in feature length filmmaking is a dark, poetic coming of age story.

Toss is an eleven year old girl who lives in a remote valley in rural New Zealand with her mother. Her father has recently died and her mother enters into a relationship with Ethan (Grandpa West from Outrageous Fortune), the man who brought her father's dead body back to the farm. His arrival and relationship with her mother stirs conflicting emotions within Toss - hints of a sexual awakening as well as suspicions that he hides some dark predatory aspects within his character. Because of this, it becomes her goal to banish him from the valley.

The critical success of Vigil saw Vincent Ward become New Zealand's first internationally renowned director.

Variety said at the time of release: "Vigil is the strongest, most personally inspired film to come out of New Zealand to date. In form and content and in its detailed and immaculate concern with visual imagery, it establishes in a single blow the place of its creator, Vincent Ward, as a unique film talent."

1984Rating: PG, Sexual references90 minsNew Zealand
DramaClassic
36%
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Reviews & comments

Variety

Variety

press

Vigil is the strongest, most personally inspired film to come out of New Zealand to date. In form and content and in its detailed and immaculate concern with visual imagery, it establishes in a single blow the place of its creator, Vincent Ward, as a unique film talent.

0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

The film isn't wholly successful, but what Ward has given us here has both fragility and weight. When we see Toss examining herself in a mirror stashed away in an old car in the middle of a field, her torso bare to the waist, we feel that we are privy to a secret communication that is taking place between the girl and her image in the glass.

There is something devastatingly frank about the way in which Toss' eyes search for information, for some shred of data that might clue her in to the changes happening to her. And afterward, we can't get her features out of our heads. In her face, a soul is laid bare.

0
Variety

Variety

press

Vigil is the strongest, most personally inspired film to come out of New Zealand to date. In form and content and in its detailed and immaculate concern with visual imagery, it establishes in a single blow the place of its creator, Vincent Ward, as a unique film talent.

0
The Washington Post

The Washington Post

press

The film isn't wholly successful, but what Ward has given us here has both fragility and weight. When we see Toss examining herself in a mirror stashed away in an old car in the middle of a field, her torso bare to the waist, we feel that we are privy to a secret communication that is taking place between the girl and her image in the glass.

There is something devastatingly frank about the way in which Toss' eyes search for information, for some shred of data that might clue her in to the changes happening to her. And afterward, we can't get her features out of our heads. In her face, a soul is laid bare.

0

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