The Strength of Water (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Strength of Water (2009)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

A boy is comfortably haunted by the ghost of his recently deceased sister in this fusion of fantasy and realism from filmmaker Armagan Ballantyne. Kimi (Hato Paparoa) and Melody (Melanie Mayall-Nahi) are twin ten-year-old siblings growing up in a Maori village along the northern coast of New Zealand. Kimi and Melody's parents Gibby (Jim Moriarty) and Joy (Nancy Brunning) scrape together a living raising chickens, and the twins help them along with their teenage brother Gene (Shyane Biddle). When Tai (Isaac Barber), a quiet and mildly eccentric man, moves into a nearby house left empty by the recent death of Tai's grandfather, Kimi and Melody strike up a friendship with him, but when Melody dies during a visit to Tai's house, many in the village believe the new arrival is responsible for her death. Gene feels certain that Tai killed his sister, and he and a gang of youths are determined to get revenge. Kimi, however, isn't sure that his sister is really dead, especially since her spirit follows him as he goes about his chores and reminds him about his duties around the farm. The Strength of Water was an official selection at the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for The Strength of Water

All Critics (4)

Acting, cinematography and a beautiful array of stunning open-air locations are all worth the price of admission.

December 9, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…

There are more ambitious films around at the moment than The Strength of Water, but it would be a shame if this small gem were forgotten in the Christmas rush.

December 2, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Ballantyne is more interested in examining the Maori community's everyday lives, and how they sit in relation to their traditions, than in making political observations. The key notes here are universal, most notably the half-life of grief.

December 2, 2009 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

With its unique Maori backdrop, this moody drama about life, death and coming to terms with both is punctuated by a well devised fantasy element.

November 28, 2009 | Full Review…

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