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When a City Rises

Film (Trailer and Excerpts) – 2020

The question of what stories to include and what stories to regretfully leave out this time around has given me more than a couple of sleepless nights over the last year! We settled on a film about the regrowing of the central city and the recovery of her people.
– Writer/director Gerard Smyth on Facebook, 26 October 2020
When a City Rises is an act of sense-making: it tries to understand how we got to where we are, and why, and it looks forward to where we might go. It was billed, for theatrical release, as "a film by us, about us, and for us", chronicling how our experiences in the last decade are intrinsically connected to our built and lived environment.
– Spinoff reviewer Erin Harrington, 15 February 2021
No, no, no, no. But I kept filming over the years. And I think I’d probably have 600 hours, but there’s probably heaps more footage and stories that we could go through.
– Writer/director Gerard Smyth on whether he planned to make a sequel to When a City Falls, Stuff, 4 February 2021
When a City Rises is a crucial document of the last nine years in the life of Aotearoa's most resilient city ... the film might not be perfect — no film about events still unfolding can be — but it is a warm-hearted, involved and non-partisan piece of work that I think captures a moment extremely well.
– Stuff reviewer Graeme Tuckett in a four star review, 28 October 2020
They are companion pieces, one looking at cataclysm and the real-time effects of thousands upon thousands of earthquakes, and the other at the choices being made about the future of our altered, renewed city. Although both have been made to celebrate the people of Canterbury, they also act in tandem as a cautionary tale for the rest of the country about the human-made, bureaucratic aftershocks that accompany the seismic ones.
– Spinoff writer Erin Harrington on the two When a City... films, 15 February 2021
They did a scorched earth policy, getting rid of whole blocks.
– Historian and heritage advocate Anna Crighton