New Zealand film making and its affinity for troubled personal drama tempered by wild landscape and bad weather has proved to be it's creative master stroke. The Piano, Whale Rider, Vigil, Utu evoke an indigenous gloom that identify these movies as distinctly New Zealand in character. Heart of the Stag mines similar territory to lesser effect with three good performances from farmer (Terence Cooper), farmer's daughter (Mary Regan) and farm hand (Bruno Lawrence) in a triangular tale of lust on the farm. Grim skies and hostile terrain accompany the moody pacing of Cooper's incestuous menace as Lawrence and Regan find mutual solace. An accomplished New Zealand film.
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