Based on a novel by prolific author Maurice Gee, this is a rich, complex and intimate film. When Paul, an award-winning photo-journalist, returns to his isolated New Zealand hometown after his father’s death, he’s world-weary and scarred by the horrors he’s witnessed. When he meets Celia, a sixteen-year-old who has rarely left their small town, he introduces her to a world she has only ever dreamed about. She pursues a relationship with him, fascinated by his insights and cynicism about the world outside.
Paul’s presence in town is viewed with suspicion. When Celia disappears, long-held secrets and grudges re-surface as Paul is suspected of being involved. As the mystery deepens, Celia’s fate collides with devastating family secrets.
This is a beautifully layered film as well as being extraordinarily beautiful. The relationships are built up in a raw, realistic manner, making the devastating climax all the more explosive and shattering.