An affectionate and informative ‘behind the scenes’ doco showing the making of the acclaimed Samson & Delilah through the eyes of its two young non-professional Aboriginal lead actors.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2009
Shot and directed by Beck Cole, this ‘Making of’ is no Hearts of Darkness. It's an affectionately unblinkered picture of her husband, director Warwick Thornton and producer Kath Shelper at work, but first and foremost it provides exactly what anyone who sees Samson & Delilah is most likely to want to see next: a picture of where Marissa Gibson and Rowan McNamara, the two remarkable untrained actors in the lead roles, came from and what they brought with them. We see how they were found by Thornton and Shelper, how they responded to the unlooked for opportunity to be in a movie, how they related to each other, how cautiously media savvy they are. Cole's picture of these two kids is as tender as Thornton's. It's suggested at one stage that neither of them would be asked to do anything on screen they hadn't done themselves or seen done, but that doesn't mean it all comes easily to them. It's all a long way from Cannes but, in the best ‘making of’ tradition, that's where this film, and Gibson and McNamara with it, happily fetches up. — BG