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Screenies Session 15: The Silent One

Screenies Session 15: The Silent One

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  • Sat 13 Jul, 4:00pm – 5:30pm


MTG Century Theatre, 9 Herschell Street, Napier


All Ages

Session 15: 4pm
The Silent One (1984) Feature Film | Rated G

Now digitised for a new generation.

The Silent One is a mythological children's drama about the friendship between a deaf mute boy, Jonasi, and a rare white turtle. The boy's differences lead to suspicion from his Rarotongan village. When the village suffers drought and a devastating storm, the boy and turtle (also considered an ill omen) are blamed and ostracised. Adapted by Ian Mune from a Joy Cowley story, the beloved film was the first New Zealand dramatic feature to be directed by a woman (Yvonne Mackay).

The Silent One is about going to the limit and winning … about being special and about people wanting to take that away. – Director Yvonne Mackay

"Twenty-five years after its release, very little about the film has aged badly. The intrusive soundtrack, full of 'feel this now!" strings and cute synthesiser riffs, is of the period, and some support acting wouldn’t cut it for a week's stint on Shortland Street nowadays. But the overall impact is undeniable – The Silent One is a rare example of an indigenous culture being honoured onscreen with respect, emotion and insight." - Simon Foster (SBS Film)

1986 Paris Film Festival for Children and Young People
Best Actor: Telo Malase
Special Jury Prize for Best Film.

1986 Chicago Children's Film Festival
Best Cinematography (Ian Paul)

1985 Figuera de Foz Festival, Portugal
Best Children's Film

1985 Moscow Film Festival
Silver Medal: Children's section

1984 Frankfurt Film Festival for Youth
Best Children's Film

1984 Giffoni Film Festival for Children, Italy
Silver Gryphon

1984 New Zealand Music Awards
Best Film Soundtrack (Jenny McLeod)

G | NZ Feature (1984) | 95 mins
Director Talk with Yvonne Mackay

Koha entry

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