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
Presented with thanks to the New Zealand Film Heritage Trust – Te Puna Ataata
Jenny McLeod’s award-winning soundtrack released by Jayrem Records