The Whanganui River settlement of Jerusalem had a moment in the national spotlight when poet James K Baxter lived there in the early 70s — but it is home to a long established Māori community and the Catholic order of the Sisters of Compassion (since 1892). To make this documentary, Miriam Smith and Christopher Pryor spent a year in Jerusalem, following the lives and interactions of the nuns and the Ngāti Hau. North & South called their observations of a world of co-existing contrasts — Māori and Pākehā, young and old, secular and religious — “a cinematic treat”.
It was mind-changing. It was a completely different way to live, but it was really rewarding I think what surprises people is that while it is isolated, it's hugely social.– Director Miriam Smith on her year in Jerusalem
Deer Heart Films
NZ Film Commission & Creative New Zealand Independent Filmmaker Fund
Rachel Shearer - Composer