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
Made with funding from the New Zealand Film Commission.
Jenny McLeod’s award-winning soundtrack released by Jayrem Records.