On an Unknown Beach is an acclaimed “‘speculative documentary" which journeys into landscapes of ruin. Three strands are weaved together: sonic artist Bruce Russell (from band The Dead C) explores the ruined Christchurch CBD, scientist Di Tracey captures chilling footage of coral damage on the seabed, and poet/actor David Hornblow undergoes hypnotherapy to semi-fictionally explore past experiences with addiction. Born partly from nostalgia and homesicknesss, the film was shot and directed by Adam Luxton and Summer Agnew. Their 2004 film Minginui explored a North Island ex-forestry town.
For the Di Tracey sequences, they spent three weeks on a research ship as it sailed rough waters south-east of New Zealand . . . [The film] is about exploration — of the sea, of sound and of oneself. [Directors Adam] Luxton and [Summer] Agnew felt like explorers as well, never quite sure where they were heading and discovering meanings and connections only as Luxton edited the film back in Berlin.– Writer Philip Matthews in The Press, 4 August 2016
Completed with assistance from the NZ Film Commission's Te Whai Ao Fund for documentary development
Audio compositions and improvisations by Bruce Russell