Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Strength of Water.

SWMBO and the ol' probligo took themselves out yesterday evening to an early (though not matinee) showing of "The Strength of Water". If my heartfelt recommendation is sufficient to encourage you to see it then read no further. Go see it. It is well worth it.

Otherwise -

It is the story of a young lad (about 10) whose twin sister dies from an asthmatic attack in rather strange circumstances. He lives in a remote community on the west coast north of NZ (the Hokianga area to which the probligo repairs for the occasional r&r). The film starts with the portrayal of the family, the community, the landscape.. It is the latter that forms the greater part of the film. The way that Armagan Ballantyne has assembled the story in the hills, the mist, the rain, is very similar to Vincent Ward's "Vigil".

It is a reconciliation of mortality, death, and continuance. The boy realises that death means an end, when the pet hen he and his sister cared for is killed - as commercial hens are when they stop laying. From that point the weather lifts, the darkness of the scenery starts to lift. There is sunlight breaking through the cloud onto the sea.


Why did I write Helen Cato instead of Armagan Ballantyne ? HOW could I?

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