Neill has been closely involved with New Zealand film-making since it started going places 20 years ago, and his take on this 'uniquely dark and strange film industry' makes for one of the most interesting films in the BFI's 'Century of Cinema' series. He uses clips from movies set in the '50s and '60s (Heavenly Creatures
, An Angel at My Table
) to evoke the strangeness of his own childhood experiences, and goes on to suggest that there's something about the country's landscape which breeds madness and dysfunction, especially in would-be macho men. Maybe Neill overplays NZ's struggle to break away from British cultural domination, but his celebration of the recent arrival of new voices (Maoris, women, gays) provides a genuinely upbeat punchline.