Author Maurice Shadbolt steps up to play the father of the main character in this adaptation of his acclaimed coming of age novel. Blaming himself for the death of a Māori friend, teenager Nick (Paul O’Shea) escapes his parents to visit his grandparents. Nick and his misfit grandpa (Derek Hardwick) set out to visit old haunts, and Nick falls for a young woman whose relationship has gone bad (Rebecca Gibney, in her screen debut). Shot partly in Golden Bay, the German-Kiwi co-production can be seen in full on NZ On Screen. German director Rolf Hädrich wrote the script with Pacific Films legend John O’Shea.
[Director] Rolf [Hädrich] had made many good films which were artistic and popular with German audiences ... Rolf was now trying to make a cinema feature, like many of those young directors he had trained in his earlier years at Norddeutscher Rundfunk. They had been successful — why shouldn’t he? A foreign location, exotic people — why not?– Producer/co-writer John O'Shea, in 1999 book Don't Let it Get You, page 147