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Clips (2)

  1. An excerpt from this documentary film.

  2. The credits from this film.


Actor and filmmaker Sam Neill weaves portions of his own biography into an insightful, idiosyncratic and liberally illustrated analysis of New Zealand cinema — from its crude beginnings to the full flowering of technical and artistic achievement seen in the breakthrough films of Peter Jackson, Lee Tamahori, and Jane Campion. Made as part of the BFI's Century of Cinema series, it screened at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival to wide acclaim; The New York Times' Janet Maslin rated it a highlight of the series. It won Best Documentary at the 1996 TV Awards.


A general perspective by Costa Botes 21.08.2008

In the early 1990s, to celebrate a century of cinema, the British Film Institute launched an ambitious series of documentaries by 18 leading filmmakers, each of whom would be tasked with providing a personal interpretation of the history and ...

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Credits (11)

 Judy Rymer
 Sam Neill
 Paula Jalfon

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Comments (4)

 Charles Eggen

Charles Eggen | website

Those looking for this on DVD can order a copy from Aro Video in Wellington. Since these copies are "on demand", be patient as it may take a bit longer than usual to receive.




...aaand a lovely place to end that excerpt :P. I loved this doco back in the day, it's kind of still relvant now. That lonely road and stark haunting landscape prevalant like a supporting character in NZ movies

 Ted Whitaker

Ted Whitaker

Hi Mary,
I agree an updated version would be very interesting.
I think Aotearoa Film has changed a lot and has split into multiple streams.
What the Cinema of Unease did was try and define New Zealand through film, a definition I think many New Zealanders yearn for, something for a new pot-luck culture to grab onto and something that represents them. Whether LOTR/ the new Peter Jackson represents New Zealand or New Zealanders is a highly topical idea, something that personally I do not feel entirely represented by.
Links to illusion by cinema and tourism are loaded concepts.

This for example... Really??

 Mary Ann  Christoff

Mary Ann Christoff | website

Hello To All,
Cinema of Unease was one of the first video's I purchased... Back in 1995 I purchased it from New Zealand... How exciting, I was going to visit New Zealand and get insight from my favorite actor Sam Neill... The package arrived along with a New Zealand post mark... Ripping the package open I popped it into my VCR...
What a beautiful country, it's mountains, lakes, so tranquil...
Fast foreward to 2008, my question is to Sam Neill, and others who have seen CoU?
Wouldn't bringing CoU up to date be a fantastic video or DVD? I'm sure so much progress has been made, along with the New Zealand Film Industry; Lord of the Rings come to mind; also many block buster films have filmed portions of their production in New Zealand...

Anyone feel an upgrade to CoU would be a great treat? How about it Sam?

Mary Ann


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Not much about Sam Neill's ordinary leading-man roles (in films like Jurassic Park) and even his better ones (in The Piano and My Brilliant Career) is preparation for his tart, perceptive directorial voice in a very good film of his own. 


1996TV Guide New Zealand Film andTelevision Awards
Best Documentary