Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

WAR STORIES

Year: 1995
Country: New Zealand
Run Time: 92 minutes

WAR STORIES

Seven heroines, seven unforgettable stories. Those who saw Gaylene Preston's charming comedy "Ruby and Rata" (16th CIFF, 1992) should welcome her latest non-fiction feature, recollections by New Zealand women of their experiences during World War II. With snippets of (incongruously cheery) newsreel footage to counterpoint their narratives, the witnesses relate bittersweet accounts of love found and lost, deprivation, intolerance, and courage. Impish Flo describes anti-American bigotry from fellow Kiwis when she wed a Yank. Maori villager Jean, meanwhile, defiantly made visiting black and hispanic soldiers feel welcome. Tui's tale of a husband she barely knows returning after long POW captivity is a quiet stunner, while Rita's ordeal was perhaps cruelest of all; she was married to a religious pacifist, who was summarily imprisoned for his conscientious objection. "In those days women had no rights whatsoever," says Tui. But they did have strength, as WAR STORIES proves.

- Charles Cassady

Director
Gaylene Preston

Producer
Gaylene Preston, Robin Laign

Cinematography
Alun Bollinger

Editing
Paul Sutorius

Principal Cast
Interviewer: Judith Fyfe

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