2001, Christine Jeffs, New Zealand

Director: Christine Jeffs
Producer: Philippa Campbell
Screenplay: Christine Jeffs,
  from the novel by Kirsty Gunn
Cinematography: John Toon
Editor: Paul Maxwell
Music: Neil Finn, Edmund McWilliams
Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki (Janey)
Sarah Peirse (Kate)
Marton Csokas (Cady)
Alistair Browning (Ed)
Aaron Murphy (Jim)
David Taylor (Sam)
Alison Routledge (Heather)

Rating: M Runtime: 92 minutes
Content Note: Sexual exploitation of a minor

The long, languid days at the end of a summer holiday. Slices of lemon for the gin and
tonics. Diving off the back of the boat. Grown-ups at parties. Thirteen-year-old Janey treads
the liminal spaces of the beach, between childhood and adulthood, observer and

Rain is imbued with a sense that everything is ending – the sun dips behind the
pohutukawa, and the clouds are increasingly threatening. The 1970s era New Zealand
bach holiday setting echoes a painful nostalgia as we watch, through Janey’s eyes, the
cracks in her parents’ marriage grow with the arrival of an enigmatic interlocutor,
photographer Cady.

In Rain, based on Kirsty Gunn’s 1994 novella of the same name, Jeffs crafts a masterful
film of careful observed exchanges, eliciting stunning performances from first-time actors
Alicia Fulford-Wierzbicki (Janey) and Aaron Murphy (Jim) alongside Sarah Peirse
(Heavenly Creatures) and Marton Csokas (The Lord of the Rings, The Luminaries).
Critics have singled out Jeffs’ skill in creating atmosphere and visual metaphors, with Kevin
Thomas of the LA Times finding Rain “breathtakingly assured and stylish … a sensual,
moody coming-of-age drama of wide implications and stunning impact that marks an
important feature debut for New Zealand writer-director Christine Jeffs.”

Rain screens courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission.


Apr 08 2024


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