7.9/10
54
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In the wake of the loss of his beloved wife, a rural community rallies around a farmer to help him deal with his grief.

Director:

Hamish Bennett

Writer:

Hamish Bennett (Writer)
Reviews
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Marshall Napier ... Ross
Annie Whittle Annie Whittle ... Beth
Cohen Holloway ... Bruce
Rachel House ... Connie
Stephen Tamarapa Stephen Tamarapa ... Clem
Kahukura Reitimana Kahukura Reitimana ... Marley
Kip Chapman ... Graeme
Simon Ferry Simon Ferry ... Farm Advisor
Jason Hodzelmans ... Peter Shaw
Bree Peters ... Ana
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Kahukura Retimana Kahukura Retimana ... Marley
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Storyline

In the wake of the loss of his beloved wife, a rural community rallies around a farmer to help him deal with his grief.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 2019 (New Zealand) See more »

Also Known As:

Northland See more »

Filming Locations:

Maungakaramea, New Zealand

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$94,090
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bellbird follows on from Hamish Bennett's award-winning short film Ross & Beth (2014). See more »

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User Reviews

 
Assured, sensitive and often funny
13 June 2019 | by derekmortonmashSee all my reviews

I had little idea what to expect when this premiered on the big screen in Sydney (June 2019) and found an assured well-crafted story with lots of heart, no baloney, and a good few laughs along the way. The subject matter is quiet and low-key, but never dull, and the storytelling clear and smart (one example: a sequence intercut between a few hesitant ukulele notes developing into a tune, and a character getting to grips with performing his work). The intent of every sequence is clear, often with a dash of sly wit. Marshall Napier in particular gives a flawless performance as a very real character. The style owes a bit to "Boy" and "Hunt for the Wilderpeople" (not a bad thing) and the delicate balance between low-key realism and warm comedy is hardly ever strained. There's so little to quibble about, all relatively trivial (a horrible cut in one sequence, a slightly out-of-style use of hand-held camera in another) that the main impression remaining is the obvious assurance of the writer/director, however long he's been at it. More to the point, experiencing this film was so evocative and entertaining that I've logged in afresh to write this first review in the hope that others might also enjoy it. And no, I have no connection at all with the production, though I wish I could say that I did.

Derek Morton


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