When a City Falls(2011)
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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BY Andreas Heinemann Flicks Writer
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
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When a City Falls
BY Cinefan wannabe
BY Whitney lister