Vincent Ward weaves drama with documentary to unravel the extraordinary story of Puhi, the Tuhoe woman who welcomed the young filmmaker into her home in 1978. Ward made the observational film In Spring One Plants Alone about Puhi’s day-to-day life in the remote Urewera Ranges. By then almost 80, she was obsessively caring for her schizophrenic adult son Niki, whose violent fits terrified her. In this new cinema feature Ward sets out to unravel the mystery that has haunted him for 30 years: Who was Puhi? And why was she so obsessed with this last remaining son? –New Zealand Film Commission
Vincent Ward is a gypsy filmmaker living between New Zealand and Australia. His two passions are film and painting. In his many other incarnations he has worked as an actor in LA, a screenwriter and has put out several books.
His film work has seen recognition at both the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival.
The Boston Globe has named him “one of the world’s great image-makers” and a book of his images will be released in 2011 along with exhibitions of his paintings.
Vincent Ward’s films have achieved a wide, eclectic audience whilst earning critical acclaim and festival attention.
His latest feature film Rain of the Children (2008) was picked by the audience, from 250 feature films, to win the Grand Prix at Poland’s largest film festival. The film was also nominated for best director in New Zealand and Australia.
What Dreams May Come won an Oscar and was nominated for 2 Academy Awards. The River Queen (2005) won the Golden… read more
Ward revisits the life of a woman he documented at the start of his career and decides he wants to know her by examining her history despite her death back in 1980. A labour of love for the director who may well have made the film for his own personal fulfillment more so than a prospective audience. Historical recreations are quite striking and the eye Ward has shown in past narrative features is certainly evidant.
If you haven't seen it - watch it. Here is what the reviewers thought: “Stunning” “... a haunting historical epic... compelling… mythic in its sweep Masterful” Hollywood Reporter. “Emotionally rewarding… imaginative… stylish.. powerful... and heart wrenching... visual and aural artistry at work.” Variety. “A deeply personal and incredibly moving film.” Sydney Film Festival