7.9/10
49
4 user

Illustrious Energy (1988)

After 12 years, Chinese gold miners in 1895 New Zealand find They have enough gold to pay their debts and return home, but things do not go as smoothly as they had hoped.

Director:

Leon Narbey
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10 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Shaun Bao Shaun Bao
William Wong William Wong ... Store keeper 1
Ha-Lei Yip Ha-Lei Yip ... Kim (as Harry Ip)
Peter Chin Peter Chin
Geeling Ching Geeling Ching ... (as Geeling Ng)
Desmond Kelly Desmond Kelly
Peter Hayden Peter Hayden
Heather Bolton Heather Bolton
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Al Ford Al Ford ... Kim Wide Shots
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Storyline

After 12 years, Chinese gold miners in 1895 New Zealand find They have enough gold to pay their debts and return home, but things do not go as smoothly as they had hoped.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gold | See All (1) »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Directorial debut for Leon Narbey. See more »

User Reviews

 
New Zealand's Best Film
20 August 2004 | by mahraeSee all my reviews

This little heard of film, is a stunning achievement in cinema. It is a brilliant, yet honest, look at the hardship of Chinese gold miners in New Zealand in the late 19th century and the racism they faced. The direction of Leon Narbey is controlled and ordered, the cinematography is stunning, the script historically genuine and well constructed. The score is one of the better in movies of its time. The acting the leads, especially Shaun Bao, is understated and atmospheric.

So why, if this movie is so good, has it not been so well known? Basically, the topic was not commercially successful so only film lovers and critics have seen it. Unfortunately, the reality is that a film about Chinese immigrants and racism does not sell. If it had been about Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) or an American film about the treatment of Blacks, it would have received considerably more coverage and critical acclaim.

Quite clearly, this film was 15 years before its time and only now in 2003 are New Zealand films showing the same quality - such as Whale Rider. (Interestingly, the director Leon Narbey for this movie, is the cinematographer for Whale Rider. Coincidence? I think not.)

A movie of genius and art. A must see.


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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Release Date:

6 November 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Niezwykla energia See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
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