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  1. Part one of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).

  2. Part two of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).

  3. Part three of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).

  4. Part four of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).

  5. Part five of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).

  6. Part six of six from this documentary (for viewers within New Zealand).


This fresh, unhurried film is drawn from a substantial interview with renowned writer Janet Frame by Michael Noonan; filmed largely at at Frame’s then-home on Whangaparoa Peninsula. It was part of the Three New Zealanders series made to commemorate the 1975 International Year of Women — an early John Barnett production. The rare footage of Frame — here aged 50 — presents a confident writer in her prime, and negates any stereotypes about Frame's inarticulacy or shyness. Note: the segments from the programme dramatising some of Frame’s work are not included here.


A perspective on Three New Zealanders: Janet Frame by Mary-Jane Duffy 19.09.2008

Three New Zealanders: Janet Frame is Endeavour Television's first documentary in the series of three made to mark United Nation's International Women's Year in 1975 - the other two are about ...

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Comments (9)

 Darian Zam

Darian Zam

In my day Frame's stories were part of the school curriculum, like Mansfield's were. As someone mentions below, "You Are Now Entering the Human Heart" was one. An introduction to great writing, for those who gave a fig. I just recently re-read the autobiographical trilogy for the first time in a good twenty years. It's hard to put into words what's so great about her writing, an intrinsic sadness, a sense of longing, a childlike wonder, a sense of optimism in everything no matter how miserable. Whatever it is, we can all relate to that feeling or mix of them - it's what makes her world view - and the way she can translate it - so special. We're all outsiders looking in.

 Johnnie Sue

Johnnie Sue

I just watched the movie an angel at the table. I absolutely loved it. I can not wait to read the book and start her other books.

 john evans

john evans

just watched An angel at my table ,an amazing film which portrayed a terrible situation which could have happened in any of the commonwealth countries before the second world war.Thank goodness we have a better understanding of this terrible afflication,and I say well done to the makers of this film

 Lynn Bishop

Lynn Bishop

Its a shame they said she only spent a few months in hospital, she was there for four and a half years, I'll have to go re-watch, becuase since the few months thing, I lost the story... Great woman, and great writer.

 David Cade

David Cade | website

Yes, there were things about life in New Zealand in the past which were undesirable and which have been improved, but let us not dismiss our past as having been entirely straight-laced, conservative, or bad.

I think it's important not to dismiss the New Zealand of old as having been "a backward little country". One of the most wonderful things about Frame's writing is that it returns us to days when New Zealand life was more about dignity, respect, and innocence than it is, unfortunately, today. This struck me only this morning after I read yet another evocative short story in Frame's collection entitled "You Are Now Entering the Human Heart". The tales in this collection detail those earlier days of New Zealand magnificently - although they were certainly not days of "magnificence" in the European sense. But they were truly days of wonderful simplicity and innocence. I find the same splendid old New Zealand in Mansfield's remembrances and, especially, in the first two parts of Maurice Gee's very fine "Plumb Trilogy".

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Collections.   See all collections ›  

Included in:

 The Janet Frame Collection
 NZ Book Month Collection


It [writing] becomes a way of looking at things ... everything you see ... you translate into words.