New Zealand Films on The Arts Channel

The Arts Channel is proud to premier two New Zealand films “A Small Life” and “Edith Collier: A Light Among Shadows” in January.

Both directed by New Zealander Michael Heath and Produced by New Zealander Bhim Singh Chouhan, the films represent the best of New Zealand in terms of storytelling and celebrating our own talent.

Starring the late Mahinarangi Tocker, “A Small Life” tells the story of a mother dealing with the life and death of her terminally-ill young son.

The second “Edith Collier: A Light Among Shadows” is a documentary film exploring the very human journey of one of New Zealand’s greatest early modern painters, Edith Collier.

A SMALL LIFE (2000), screens on Wednesday 14 January, 8.30pm

“A Small Life” explores the power of healing through love and music. It tells the story of a mother dealing with the life and death of her terminally-ill young son. The film is profoundly elegiac, emotional, drawing on the luminous landscapes of the Southern Wairarapa, and contrasting them with the characters’ own inner landscapes. The film opens with a lament sung by Ana (Tocker) for her dead son on the misty shore of a lake at dawn. The film becomes the story of the boy’s final day on this earth… his last journey from the isolated house in the middle of the great field, with towering, creaking macrocarpa trees… down to the long dusty road to wait for the Postman… to wait for the letter from his father who has gone away…
Director and Screenplay by New Zealander Michael Heath. Produced by New Zealander Bhim Singh Chouhan.

EDITH COLLIER: A LIGHT AMONG SHADOWS (2007), screens on Wednesday 21 January, 8.30pm

One of New Zealand’s greatest early modern painters, Edith Collier, from Wanganui, whose extraordinarily beautiful work remains largely unknown at home, and overseas. It explores the very human journey of Collier’s way of seeing the world, and how the negative responses from her own community and critics, and the burning of many of her nude paintings by her father, left her demoralized and artistically incapacitated. It is a film about our past – our history largely untold… a story about provincial New Zealand almost 100 years ago… a powerful metaphor for the young artist of today dealing with cultural identity and rejection. Above all it is about a courageous woman determined to survive at all costs. And in the end it is her shining work that is triumphant, and inspirational – revealed on film for the first time for all the world to see, and admire.
Written and directed by New Zealander Michael Heath, Produced by Bhim Singh Chouhan.

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