Out of the Blue (15)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue Mar 11 2008This absorbing and moving drama-documentary outlining the tragic events that occurred in Aramoana, New Zealand on November 13-14 1990 – when loner David Gray shot dead 13 victims in the largest mass-shooting in the country’s history – may not ‘re-invent’ the genre, but the excellence of Robert Sarkies’ direction, his narrative skill, and the fruits of his sober but expressive, intimate but non-histrionic, approach give it layers of cinematic interest rarely attempted by comparable ‘event’-based dramas.
Anchoring his film in a sweetly shot, edited and suggestive portrait of place – the picture-book bays, honesty boxes and ancient school buses of South Island – and community, enables Sarkies to do justice to the plight and emotional responses of a wide range of individuals, with the witnesses, cops, victims and survivors (from elderly George Cross-winner Helen Dickson to children) given suprisingly affecting and penetrating performances by a cast of varied experience. Like the massacre itself, Sarkies’ film is tense, shocking and unexpected, but this is also rewardingly presumption-free and thoughtful.
Author: Wally Hammond