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International Acclaim For Vincent Ward's Rain Of The Children

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

3 July 2008 - Vincent Ward's Rain of the Children has received stunning reviews after its world premiere, where it screened in competition at the Sydney Film Festival.

The docu-drama revisits the mystery behind the life of Puhi, the Tūhoe woman who was the centre of Ward's 1978 observational documentary In Spring One Plants Alone.

Respected film industry publications the Hollywood Reporter and Variety have given Ward's latest feature film huge praise and have applauded Ward's fresh take on the documentary medium.

"Combining early photographs, personal narration, interviews with descendants of [Puhi's] tribe and gloriously shot re-enactments, Ward paints a portrait of a remarkable woman," says Megan Lehmann, journalist for the Hollywood Reporter. Lehmann states that the film is "masterful a haunting historical epic Ward communicates through grand gestures and indelible images".

Variety journalist Richard Kuipers says, "Beautifully shot re-enactments show Puhi's tempestuous young life in the amazing 2,000-person [Tūhoe] colony, established by Rua Kenana, that fell apart after violent police intervention in 1916." He also says the film is an "emotional rewarding union of imaginative storytelling and stylish visuals. Discoveries are compelling and heart-wrenching."

Ward is well known for his use of majestic and arresting imagery. Initially intending to become a painter, he enrolled in Ilam School of Arts in Auckland but decided to focus on filmmaking instead. He brings his painter's eye to the film medium, creating striking visuals that characterise his films such as Vigil, The Navigator and Map of the Human Heart. His work has been celebrated internationally and also at home, where he was awarded an Order of New Zealand Merit in 2007 for his contribution to filmmaking.

The New Zealand International Film Festivals is honoured to host Rain of the Children's New Zealand premiere on Saturday 12 July at 6.15pm in Auckland. The film will then travel to 15 other centres as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival.

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