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CHRISTMAS

New Zealand, 2003 (MIFF 2003, Regional Focus)

Director: Gregory King

December 21st, and eldest son Keri has just turned up unannounced to the modest family home in Whangarei, a Kiwi town going nowhere fast, where he grew up. Sharing in the 'festivities' are the house's inhabitants, a dysfunctional maori/anglo-saxon family— parents, Brian and Loma, teenage brother and sister, Richard and Donna, and the eldest sibling, Megan and her husband and two kids, who live in the basement. However this is not your sanitised Hollywood Christmas love-fest. As each day draws nearer to the day of 'celebration', tensions mount within this very skewed family.

Laced wrth black humour, Gregory King has effectively created a sense of claustrophobia and mounting pressure in his ultra low-budget debut feature. Whether showing the characters transfixed by the cricket on theTV for extended periods of time, arguing (as only family members can), or grasping a moment of peace in the loo (complete with toilet paper dispenser-cum-radio), King has tapped a rich vein of realism that is compelling.

See also...

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Playwright Toa Fraser's first venture into feature film directing is an adaptation of his hit play of the same name. This deft mix of earthy comedy and drama centres on Nana Maria (American actor ... More »

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Playfully crossing almost all genres, including thriller comedy, horror and action, this dynamic debut film from Korean hot-shot, Jang Jun-hwan, recalls the deliriously creative work of Jeunet and ... More »

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