Christmas Eve 1953: Cricketer Bob Blair (Ryan O'Kane) is in South Africa, days away from batting for New Zealand. His fiancée Nerissa Love (Maddigan's Quest's Rose McIver) is boarding an ill-fated train, which in this excerpt will plunge into the Whangaehu River at Tangiwai, in the country's worst rail disaster. The Dominion Post's Linda Burgess found this TV movie retelling of the tragic romance "first-rate", noting "consistently excellent" performances from O'Kane, McIver, and Miranda Harcourt as Nerissa's wary mother. Tangiwai won four NZ TV awards, including best cinematography.
Tangiwai totally stood out. From a script perspective it was incredibly emotional. I had the same reaction that most people do where I cried when I read it. I was incredibly caught up in the story.– Director Charlie Haskell
Made with funding from NZ On Air
Song 'Stealing Happiness' sung by Gin Wigmore.
Soundtrack available for download via Peter Hobbs' bandcamp page