In 1978, a young Vincent Ward filmed the day-to-day life of an elderly Māori woman, Puhi, and her dependent schizophrenic son, living in isolation in Te Urewera. In 1980 this film was released, titled In Spring One Plants Alone. In the years following the films release, Ward learned more about Puhi, her extraordinary life, and why she believed herself to be cursed. Puhi had been chosen by Tūhoe prophet Rua Kenana to marry his son, survived the 1916 police raid on Rua’s Maungapohatu community and went on to have fourteen children.
In Rain of the Children (2008), Ward tells her story, cutting between early footage, interviews with Tūhoe descendents, and historical recreations featuring Rena Owen and Temuera Morrison.
The screening will be followed by a conversation and Q & A with the filmmaker, Vincent Ward and Nancy Tait, Tribal co-producer for Rain of the Children. Please join us for refreshments afterwards. This event will be introduced by Chief Curator Robert Leonard.
Vincent Ward’s films include Vigil (1984), Map of the Human Heart (1993), River Queen (2005) and Rain of the Children (2008). In 2007, he was made an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his contribution to film. He is currently working on a film in China, Ukraine, Germany, and Australia.
Nancy Tait (Tuhoe Te Arawa Raukawa Kahungunu) grew up in the Waimana Valley and was raised traditionally by her great grandmother from birth. Her great grandfather was killed during the invasion of Rua Kenana Hepetipa's home in Maungapohatu. She grew up knowing, Puhi and Niki, and later met director Vincent Ward during his time in Waimana. She worked closely alongside Vincent, to produce Rain of the Children.
Courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission.