Based on the Aramoana Massacre that occurred on 13 November and 14 November 1990. Resident David Gray, an unemployed gun collector, went on a rampage in which 13 people were shot dead, before Gray himself was shot by police.
Ordinary people find extraordinary courage in the face of madness. On 13-14 November 1990 that madness came to Aramoana, a small New Zealand seaside village. It came in the form of a lone gunman with a high-powered semi-automatic rifle. As he stalked his victims the terrified and confused residents were trapped in the village for 24 hours while a handful of under-resourced and underarmed local policeman risked their lives trying to find him and save the survivors. By dawn 13 people lay dead. This is a true story.Written by
Chris Cole is wearing a T-shirt that says: "Save our beach. Stop the smelter." This refers to the late 1970s proposal to build an aluminum smelter at Aramoana, which would have destroyed the township and threatened a local wildlife reserve, and met with a lot of resistance from residents. See more »
The roads at Aramoana and the road to Port Chalmers were all unsealed gravel in 1990. The subsequently sealed roads are visible in the film, like when Bryson is fleeing Gray in the van, and when Guthrie and Anderson arrive in Aramoana. See more »
I remember very well the events unfolding in Aramoana as it was broadcast on the TV and radio. I was a Police Officer at the time and the death of a fellow officer was tough news to hear. Seeing the events recreated on screen for the first time brought the memories flooding back. Seeing how even in a relatively peaceful nation such as New Zealand, no-one is immune from random acts of violence was very sobering. I sat bolt upright the entire movie and didn't realise it. The theater was deathly quiet. This is a movie that pulls no punches and has not an inkling of Hollywood in it. It is a sad, dramatic, true to life retelling of the massacre. This type of film is one of the reasons I avoid many of the big budget Hollywood movies. There's no glorification here, no overly animated death scenes, this is movie making at it's best. The story is being told without embellishment and in a sadly beautiful way. A must see for New Zealander's, and for anyone else interested in seeing a powerful, compelling movie. New Zealand's movie of the year, without doubt.
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