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In Spring One Plants Alone
Directed by Vincent Ward ∙ 1980 ∙ New Zealand ∙ 45'
Outside the boundaries of state protection in Aotearoa (also known as New Zealand), an elderly mother carries the daily work of survival and looks after her mentally-ill son. Their world unfolds between the surrounding mountains and the pastoral life they share with their cows, punctuated by the occasional stop at the nearest town. Destitute, prey to police visits, internal tensions, and the neighbors’ slander, they persist.
At the crossroads of cinéma direct and magical realism, decorated Pākehā documentarist Vincent Ward’s second film is the product of almost two years spent in the company of these two Māoris. IN SPRING ONE PLANTS ALONE is born out of this commitment to a shared life, and paints a sensitive and sharp portrait of an isolated yet incredibly resilient family.