Screened as part of NZIFF 2008

Rain of the Children 2008

Directed by Vincent Ward

Vincent Ward's deeply personal and incredibly moving film unravels and re-imagines the history-tossed life of Puhi, the elderly Tuhoe woman he first filmed as a young filmmaker in 1978.

Aotearoa New Zealand In English and Te reo Māori with English subtitles
102 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Vincent Ward
Marg Slater
Tainui Stephens

Iwi co-producer

Kero Nancy Tait


Catherine Fitzgerald


Leon Narbey
Adam Clark


Chris Plummer

Production designer

Shayne Radford


John Gibson
Jack Body


Miriama Rangi
Rena Owen
Temuera Morrison
Taungaroa Emile
Waihoroi Shortland
Toby Morehu
Mahue Tawa
Mikaira Tawhara
Harmony Wihapi


Sydney 2008


"Vincent Ward's (River Queen, Map of the Human Heart) deeply personal and incredibly moving film unravels and re-imagines the story of Puhi, the Tuhoe woman he documented in 1978 for his early film In Spring One Plants Alone. Then she was 80 and caring for her schizophrenic adult son, and Ward was 21, a young art student capturing her way of life. While not the subject of his earlier film, Puhi believed herself to be cursed, and this unknowable curse is what preoccupies Ward now. Puhi, he discovers, was an extraordinary woman. Chosen by Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana to marry his son, she survived the 1916 police raid on Rua's Maungapohatu community and went on to have 14 children. Cutting between early footage, his own to-camera narration, contemporary interviews with Tuhoe descendents, and magnificently recreated historical sequences (featuring Rena Owen as the older Puhi among a superb cast of Maori actors); Ward reveals both the heartrending background of Puhi's belief in the curse, and her lasting power over him." — Clare Stewart, Sydney Film Festival 2008