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Clips (8)

  1. The first of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  2. The second of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  3. The third of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  4. The fourth of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  5. The fifth of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  6. The sixth of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  7. The seventh of seven parts of this full length documentary.

  8. The credits from this documentary.

Synopsis

Before he achieved worldwide fame as an actor, Sam Neill directed documentary films for the National Film Unit. This film examines the philosophy, early achievements and frustrations of one of New Zealand's most innovative architects, Ian Athfield. Athfield won an international competition in 1975 to design housing for 140,000 squatters in Manila, in the Philippines, yet struggled to gain recognition back home. This film culminates in Athfield's trip to the Philippines to pursue the project. Shooter John Toon later memorably shot feature film Rain.

Background

A Perspective by Russell Campbell 19.10.2009

During the 1970 there was a rebellious spirit abroad at the National Film Unit. Several directors broke away from the mould of tourism promotion which, as in the period prior to 1940, had again become the dire norm of government film making. ...

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Credits (7)

 Sam Neill
 Tom Williamson
 Dale Pomeroy

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Comments (1)

 David Cade

David Cade | website

This is a fascinating documentary. So many older buildings have been unnecessarily demolished in New Zealand, destroying the country's history and so many new buildings are mere shafts of glass, concrete, and steel. It is good to see that Athfield has sought to resist this process, seeking to give older buildings new life. However, where he is commissioned to design new buildings it is good to see that he has sought to create buildings which have individuality and character and that he strives to have that individuality and character emerge, as it were, from the immediate New Zealand landscape. New Zealand is in desperate need of architects with this vision. The city-centres of Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch have suffered badly at the hands of architects and town planners in the past 30 years. Only Dunedin, perhaps by virtue of its geographical isolation, has remained relatively unscathed, retaining a good number of exceptionally fine older buildings and allowing Dunedin a sense of history which the other larger cities now unfortunately lack and can never retrieve.

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Related Titles (9)

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Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 National Film Unit Collection
 Kiwi Ingenuity