Director Jane Campion
Producer Jan Chapman
With Holly Hunter (Ada), Harvey Keitel (Baines), Sam Neill (Stewart), Anna Paquin (Flora), Tungia Baker (Hira), Ian Mune (Reverend), Lawrence Wharerau (Kamera)
Cinematography Stuart Dryburgh
25 years ago, cinema-goers around the world were captivated by an extraordinary tale of desire, violence and hope.
After a long voyage from Scotland, pianist Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) and her young daughter, Flora (Anna Paquin), are left with all their belongings, including a piano, on a New Zealand beach. Ada, who has been mute since childhood, has been sold into marriage to a local man, Alisdair Stewart (Sam Neill). Making little attempt to warm up to Alisdair, Ada soon becomes intrigued by his Maori-friendly acquaintance, George Baines (Harvey Keitel), leading to tense, life-altering conflicts.
Jane Campion made history with The Piano becoming the first woman ever to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Other awards include: co-winner Palme d’Or, Best Actress (Holly Hunter) Cannes Film Festival 1993; Best Original Screenplay (Jane Campion), Best Actress (Holly Hunter), Best Supporting Actress (Anna Paquin), Academy Awards 1994.
“There is more depth of meaning here than immediately meets the eye. The Piano tends to grow in the memory, rather than recede like most films. Despite its structural debt to a literary tradition formed in another century, The Piano is still very much a contemporary work. Its themes speak directly to the present.” — Costa Botes, The Dominion, 20 September 1993
This screening is in support of the Royal New Zealand Ballet's season of The Piano: The Ballet