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The Navigator - A Medieval Odyssey

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  • Wed 30 Oct ’13, 7:00pm – 8:35pm
  • Thu 31 Oct ’13, 7:00pm – 8:35pm
  • Fri 1 Nov ’13, 7:00pm – 8:35pm
  • Sat 2 Nov ’13, 7:00pm – 8:35pm


Nga Taonga Sound & Vision, 84 Taranaki St, Te Aro, Wellington


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • General admission: $8.00
  • Concession: $6.00


The Film Archive

"The Navigator" (PG, 1988) is an absorbing story that links medieval fears and fortunes to our times, while confirming Vincent Ward as an original talent.

In Cumbria in 1348, the year of the Black Death, a nine-year-old boy is haunted by fragments of a dream about a celestial city. His brother decides that the dream offers their only hope of survival – so five medieval men follow the boy on a quest which leads them to New Zealand, the Antipodes, 1988.

“'Navigator' is essentially about an act of faith – people believing they can change the course of their life. Some historians have likened the 14th century to the 20th century – both calamitous ages. The 14th century had plague, war and holocausts and this century has seen wars on a vast scale and the potential for the further holocuast. They were both calamitous ages. I liked the parallel of the little isolated village in Cumbria being a pocked skipped over by the plague, and of New Zealand, too, being a little pocket separate from the rest of the world. I believe faith and hope are prerequisites for action and change, regardless of the odds. Basically what I wanted to do was look at the 20th century through medieval eyes. It’s as if the demons of our contemporary world – our technological monsters of destruction – could be foreseen in the nightmares of medieval men.” - Vincent Ward, production notes

“The formidable skills of Ward are shown in the way his story works, not only as adventure, but as the love story of two brothers and a parable of faith and religion. As the medievals joust with the paraphernalia of a night-bound, modern city, in their striving to reach the cathedral at its heart, Ward conjures a series of striking sequences and images. The best affirm, invariably with humor, the timeless ascendancy of individual human spirit against the forces that would dehumanize.” - Mike Nicolaidi, "Variety," 11 May 1988

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