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The Silent One Film – 1984 Adaptation Drama Children

The Silent One

Film – 1984 Adaptation Drama Children

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The Silent One is a mythological children's drama about the friendship between a deaf mute boy, Jonasi, and a rare white turtle. The boy's differences lead to suspicion from his Rarotongan village. When the village suffers drought and a devastating storm, the boy and turtle (also considered an ill omen) are blamed and ostracised. Adapted by Ian Mune from a Joy Cowley story, the beloved film was the first New Zealand dramatic feature to be directed by a woman (Yvonne Mackay). In the excerpt here, Jonasi is excluded from a boar hunt and first meets the turtle.

The Silent One is about going to the limit and winning … about being special and about people wanting to take that away.
– Director Yvonne Mackay