Cast: Kevin J. Wilson, Peter Vere-Jones, Helen Moulder, Elizabeth Coulter, Terence Bayler, Matiu Mareikuira, Ken Blackburn.
Screenplay: Robert Lord, John O'Shea; Photography: Rory O'Shea; Editor: John Kiley; Music: Jan Preston; Producer: John O'Shea; Director: Michael Black.
Walter Burton's realistic photographs depicting poor treatment of Maori prisoners are rejected by late 19th century government officials. Walter is condemned to making a living from everyday studio work, the frustration of which is apparently quite sufficient to make him a drunk. His brother Alfred is happy to take the photos that the officials want and therefore gets the commissions. Alfred's photos are well received, but when Walter shows his own photos, toughs are sent around to smash up his plates. A passible film with some great photography in locations such as Dunedin, Oamaru and the Wanganui river.
"The reassessment of national history is never an easy task, especially a history as clouded with noble self-deception as that of the colonisation of New Zealand. All credit then, to Pictures for tackling the subject, and for bringing to its reassessment a remarkable clarity and a considerable complexity of perspective" - (Nick Roddick, "Pictures", Monthly Film Bulletin, BFI, October 1982)
"Pictures is deliberately quiet, from the significant piano score of Jan Preston, to the effect created by the choice of a formal acting mode. The prim style proves apt. Michael Black's sensitivity in his direction of actors and actresses is a strong plus among the film's assets, along with an economical screenplay, a scrupulous choice of props, and settings. The problem remaining is in determining why the rest of the filmmaking skills do not work toward a united purpose" - (Gilbert Peterson, "Pictures lacks dramatic touch", The Dominion, June 6, 1983)