The Strength of Water
Director Armagan Ballantyne
Producer Fiona Copland
Screenplay Briar Grace-Smith
With Hato Paparoa, Melanie Mayall-Nahi, Jim Moriarty, Nancy Brunning, Isaac Barber
Released in Kiwi cinemas in August 2009 after winning praise at festivals in Berlin and Rotterdam. The Strength of Water marks the big screen debut of Māori playwright Briar Grace-Smith, and Pākehā director Armagan Ballantyne. The film centres on a 10-year-old twin brother and sister in an isolated part of the Hokianga, and the events that follow when they encounter a young stranger. The Strength of Water merges a spare, naturalistic portrait of a Māori family struggling to stay above water, with moody images of earth and sea, loss and new beginnings.