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Ward’s Rain Of The Children premieres

13 July 2008
Press Release
For immediate release

Vincent Ward’s Rain Of The Children premieres in spectacular fashion at the
40th Auckland International Film Festival.

Click for big version

It was a Kiwi film event impossible to miss. When was the last time that close to 400 Tūhoe descended upon Auckland to witness the premiere of a New Zealand film? The answer is simple; it’s only happened once and that was last night at the Civic Theatre in Auckland.

The cast of Rain of the Children arrived on the red carpet to a powhiri arranged by Auckland’s Tangata Whenua, to welcome the visiting Tūhoe to the Civic Theatre and to Auckland. By sharing a story that is deeply rooted in one of the most tumultuous times of Maori history, the premiere was elevated to something much more special. It became a celebration of courage in the face of adversity, personified by the unbreakable Puhi, the woman at the centre of Ward’s deeply personal doco-drama.

After a high-profile world premiere in competition at the Sydney Film Festival, critics quickly agreed that Ward had created something special. The Hollywood reporter said: “masterful… a haunting historical epic…”, while Variety described Rain of the Children as “emotionally rewarding… compelling and heart-wrenching.”

The Tūhoe at tonight’s premiere didn’t need words. As the credits rolled, they responded with a stirring haka that rolled out of the darkness, raising goosebumps on the arms of everybody present. People left the cinema with the realisation that they had witnessed something special.

“A really beautiful and well told story. A perfect follow up to In Spring one Plants Alone. (Taika Waititi)
“there wasn't a dry eye left in the house.” (Alisha Williams)

“I came to the film with my mother and her two friends and by the end of the film my mother was shaking, she was so moved. In the credits, when Tūhoe stood up for the haka, she was sobbing. It was a beautiful experience. (Dan Taipua)

The New Zealand International Film Festivals is honoured to have Rain of the Children as one of the homegrown flagships of this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival. The film will have two more screenings in Auckland before embarking on the rest of the film festival’s national circuit.

For more information on screening times, visit:
To read the Hollywood Reporter review, visit:
To read the Variety review, visit:


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