Skip to main content


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...

Teach You a Lesson

Greg King's Teach You a Lesson is another alarming portrayal of dysfunction, following the shock of his first film Pop. It is a juvenile retelling of childhood within a family displaying a ... More »


Possibly the most extraordinary short film at MIFF this year, in Pop the viewer is the main character as we take a candid journey from tourist to drag queens and some startlmgly real stuff in ... More »


A truly unsettling, visually inventive, stylistically thrilling and quite marvellous diamond in the rough. Woodenhead takes the traditional fairy tale and re-processes it through the minds of ... More »


When Melanie (Rachael Blake, Lantana, MIFF 2001) goes home from the pub with the best looking bloke (Sam Neill) there, she is more than pleased with herself. After a night of revelry, she passes out ... More »

NO. 2

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 »


Cala is a scruffy little dog who means the world to Lao, a blue-collar worker who lives in Beijing with his wife and son. When the pooch is nabbed by the authorities for being out on the streets ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director