Other Halves


Time Out says

Laing deserves a medal for his attempts to negotiate the minefield of sensibilities laid by fellow New Zealander Sue McCauley in this adaptation of her controversial novel: the tale of a despairing, middle class Auckland housewife (Harrow) who falls in love with a teenage Polynesian offender (Pilisi) while receiving psychiatric care for attempted suicide. Treating every taboo, not to mention cliché, associated with race, class and age, it could so easily have led to disaster. But Laing's documentarist's eye, used so effectively in his earlier Beyond Reasonable Doubt, manages to give enough sense of the reality behind the contrasted urban nightmares experienced by the two principals to make up for the inevitable infelicities involved. Using a quiet, unemphatic style, he concentrates on the fine performances of Harrow and Pilisi; and what emerges is an honest and affecting tribute to the courage of two outsiders struggling to find some private place of their own in the hostile world.


Release details

105 mins

Cast and crew

John Laing
Sue McCauley
Lisa Harrow
Mark Pilisi
Fraser Stephen-Smith
Paul Gittins
John Bach
Clare Clifford
Bruce Purchase
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