This simple and effective Maori (NZ) film details a family turning point in a 10 year old boys life. Set in the wildest coldest windswept coast of North Island New Zealand and featuring some of the most spectacular freezing desolate landscapes since STORM BOY and RYANS DAUGHTER, any viewer willing to settle into THE STRENGTH OF WATER will emerge blinking back into their own lives afterwards having felt as though the actually have been somewhere. A NZ-German co-production, THE STRENGTH OF WATER features an all Maori cast and shows a loving family who suddenly cope with a cruel twist of fate and the emotional fallout. The unaffected natural performances are quite astonishing and will allow any age person to completely connect with the characters. The family is sensible, hard working and live simply which makes the storyline and what befalls them all the more touching. Then they have to put up with what happens to their community. The amazing cold wet scenes in a windy rain-swept rusting car scrap-yard are so visceral I still feel now as though I was actually there that day. THE STRENGTH OF WATER, like the NZ counterpart from 10 years ago WHALE RIDER makes for emotionally satisfying viewing and I recommend it heartily. How these people live in this freezing saturated paradise is almost bewildering. It is an exceptionally good film. It also reminded me of the Scottish film KES.
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