Film Festival 09 - The Town Which Lost A Miracle
The Town That Lost a Miracle/Autumn Fires
New Zealand 1972/1977, 83m
Director: Barry Barclay
The Town That Lost a Miracle. Opononi became the focus of national attention in 1955 thanks to a famously friendly dolphin. Seventeen years later, working with writer James McNeish, Barry Barclay visits Opononi and gently but tellingly probes the legend of that magical summer and the mystery of its violent end.
Autumn Fires. Actor Martyn Sanderson returns at 39 to the
Hokianga of his youth and visits his elderly and romantic aunt,
Olive Bracey. Their reminsicences mesh with nostalgic songs - "Ah!
Sweet Mystery of Life!" - and readings from Bracey's unpublished
fiction. Rory O'Shea's lyrical cinematography lends its own poetry.
This beautiful, layered film is all that came of a series to be
called In Search of Pakehatanga proposed by Pacific Films after the
success of Tangata Whenua. "It was metaphor created at a time when
it was still possible to make metaphors in documentary in this
country", Barclay recalled. But an era of more aggressive
television was close at hand and he left the country soon after for
nearly five years.