When a City Falls

When a City Falls


Documentary chronicling the impact of Christchurch’s devastating earthquakes, September 2010 and February 2011, on the lives of its citizens: "The people's story shot in the streets of Christchurch". Features original music by Tiki Taane.... More

Focusing on the reactions of Cantabrians without narration, When a City Falls "offers a new and grass roots understanding of what happened to half a million New Zealanders the year their lives changed forever... goes beyond reactive television footage to a tale of hope, an uplifting story that speaks of the kindness of human hearts." (Official Synopsis)Hide

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Flicks Review

It’s been nine months since one of the biggest natural disasters to ever hit New Zealand. In that time, local media outlets have saturated us with images and issues relating to the Christchurch earthquake and you could be forgiven for having become a touch desensitised to the whole episode.... More

This documentary differs from that coverage by virtue of its homegrown roots. Made about Cantabrians by a Cantabrian, the sense of tragedy remains but is balanced by footage of the community pulling together and recovering. Whether it be the dry, laconic humour used in coping with the aftermath or witnessing small acts of kindness, there is a great deal of optimism evident. Best of all, this sense of hope seems an organic and natural response from interviewees, as opposed to a construct of filmmaking technique.

The wide range of said interviewees creates an emotional mosaic of the city, although it would have been interesting if a few of the subjects could’ve been followed with a little more depth. There are also a few moments when the camera is bordering on invasive and the closing stanza, which looks overseas for future urban planning options, doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the piece.

Still, this was a vital moment in our history and needed to be captured for posterity. As time goes on and the Christchurch earthquake becomes a foggy, painful memory, hard evidence such as this will only grow in importance.Hide

The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 2 ratings, 2 reviews
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BY Cinefan wannabe

I saw this with three friends on Tuesday. Out of ten we gave it 8, 8 and a half, 9, and 9.5...so I think that means we were bloody impressed. This is definitely a big screen affair I reckon. A really moving, dramatic story, beautifully shot, a film that reminds us that real-life people and events - in all their intensity, comedy, laughter and courage - can make for the most powerful stories of all. It would have been totally wrong if this film was crap, or even just ok...the topic is too... More important for that. I'm relieved that it is so good.Hide

BY Whitney lister

I saw the documentary lastnight at my local Christchurch cinema and just wanted to share what an amazing film it was to watch. It was also at the same time very hard to watch with being witness to these dreadful earthquakes first hand from living in Christchurch my entire life, but the way the film crew put it together made me extremely proud to be from Christchurch. There are times in the movie when people would spontaneously shed a tear aloud at different scenes and at the end of the movie... More everyone in the cinema clapped and smiled at each other knowing that it is going to be all ok and we do have each other. It was very moving to see so many people I know throughout the film but it such an amazing movie and I recommend all New Zealanders to watch it. I think it really shows Christchurch for what we really are, the strong amazing resilient bunch of people.Hide

The Press Reviews

  • Truly inspirational and utterly important, this doco demands to be seen and will ultimately stand as a testament to Cantabrians and this nation as a whole. Full Review

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