Recluse Smith (Sam Neill) is drawn into a revolutionary struggle between guerillas and right-wingers in New Zealand. Implicated in a murder and framed as a revolutionary conspirator, Smith tries to maintain an attitude of non-violence while caught between warring factions. —IMDb
Roger Donaldson (born 15 November 1945) is an Australian-born New Zealand film producer, director and writer who has made numerous successful movies. He was a co-founder of the New Zealand Film Commission.
Donaldson was born in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia and in 1965 emigrated to New Zealand to establish a small still photography business. He entered the film industry when he made the drama series Winners and Losers for New Zealand television, then directed and produced his first film Sleeping Dogs in 1977. As this was the first film to come out of New Zealand in nearly 15 years, he lobbied the New Zealand Government to found the New Zealand Film Commission in 1978. Donaldson’s first films were made in close collaboration with his friend and leading man, actor and musician Bruno Lawrence, with whom Donaldson worked extensively in the 1970s, but the partnership and their long friendship effectively ended after Smash Palace.
Donaldson’s first American break was when he… read more
Film that put New Zealand on the cinematic map is a muddled political thriller sunk by poor plot development, illogical characters and a terrible sudden character changing ending. However, Sam Neill (final scenes aside) is quite dynamic here as is the fairly lush cinematography by Seresin. File Warren Oates under the illogical characters. Donaldson would go on to 'Smash Palace' and a long Hollywood career.