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Paul, a prize-winning war journalist, returns to his remote New Zealand hometown due to the death of his father, battle-scarred and world-weary. For the discontented sixteen-year-old Celia he opens up a world she has only dreamed of. She actively pursues a friendship with him, fascinated by his cynicism and experience of the world beyond her small-town existence. But many, including the members of both their families, frown upon the friendship and when Celia goes missing, Paul becomes the increasingly loathed and persecuted prime suspect in her disappearance. As the violent and urgent truth gradually emerges, Paul is forced to confront the family tragedy and betrayal that he ran from as a youth, and to face the grievous consequences of silence and secrecy that has surrounded his entire adult life. Written by
Having had to do NZ fiction at school over a decade ago and hating it, I was not sure what to expect with this film. It has made me want to go and buy the book and get back into the wonder of my country's literary heritage... but that's another story.
This film is beautiful. It's tense, funny (some of the cameos for kiwi's to look out for additional fun!)... it takes you into the heart and soul of the characters. The two main characters are portrayed so wonderfully, you feel you're an extension of them.
Not knowing the story probably helped as I was not expecting everything that comes to pass (don't want to spoil anything). The movie, though desperate at some times, makes you feel somewhat uplifted. Hope. By the way, does anyone know who did the painting? I loved it.
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