In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education ...
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In 1920s and 1930s New Zealand, Janet Frame grows up in a poor family with lots of brothers and sisters. Already at an early age she is different from the other kids. She gets an education as a teacher but since she is considered abnormal she stays at a mental institution for eight years. Success comes when she starts to write novels. Written by
"An Angel at My Table" (1990) made by Jane Campion is a true life-story of Janet Frame (1924-2004), New Zealand's most famous author. The film starts with young Jane, a funny -looking red haired girl, shy and quiet who knew too well that she was "poor, smelly, and unpopular". Then it follows her to misdiagnosis of schizophrenia and more than 200 electroshock treatments in a mental hospital where she had spent eight years and a severe, lifelong shyness that was her only problem. Even in the hospital she was writing and was able to have her book published - writing did save her from losing her mind. The film is based on three of her memoirs, "To the Is-land", "An Angel at My Table" and "The Envoy from Mirror City".
Jane Campion made a very affecting and quietly powerful portrait of a writer who also was a gentle and genuinely humble woman. The film is never a sentimental manipulating story of a talented but misunderstood artist. It does not idealize Frame but it is a very honest and sympathetic portrait of an artist.
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