Flight of the Albatross

Flight of the Albatross aka: Der Flug des Albatros - 1996

Top Shelf/Fritz Wagner co-production - 89 min.
DVD UPC/EAN # 9415394705263

Cast: Julia Brendler, Taungaroa Emile, Suzanne von Brosody, Diana Ngaromotu-Heka, Jack Thompson, Pete Smith.
Screenplay: Riwia Brown, based upon the book by Deborah Savage; Director of Photography: Martin Gressmann; Editor: Mike Horton; Music: Jan Preston with orchestration by John Charles.; Producer: Udo Heiland, Rita Wagner, Susanne Wagner; Director: Werner Meyer.

Sarah, a teenage German, travels to New Zealand to visit her ornithologist mother, working on Great Barrier Island. She meets Mako, an angry Maori recently released from prison, and they slowly become friends. Trouble begins when they visit a cursed mountain. Sarah falls down a mine shaft, but is rescued by Mako. Through the efforts of both, the curse is lifted. Great photography and music, but performances are a bit weak, however it is still worth a view. Shot in Berlin, Auckland and Great Barrier Island.

Censor Rating: G - Review rating: C

Flight of the Albatross
Official MP4 Clip


No known source for new PAL or NTSC VHS copies.
An R0 PAL DVD release was available from New Zealand sources with a retail price of about $30nz, but is OOP as of April 2013.
The producer does still have copies that can be purchased directly by emailing a request to: info@top-shelf.co.nz Add 'Flight of the Albatross DVD' to the subject line and indicate your postal address in the message box. With the address they will be able to tell you the total cost. Payment can be made with a major credit card.
It is a rather bare bones disc, with one exception - it is the first feature film on dvd with separate spoken English and Maori language tracks. Unfortunately, there are no subtitles in either language. It is hoped that omission is corrected with any future re-issue. It is presented in its original 1.33:1 format with 2.0 dolby digital sound. The transfer is a definate improvement over the limited vhs offerings of the past.

Aro Video of Wellington

Alice in Videoland of Christchurch has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses

ebay AU DVD


NZFC OnDemand New Zealand Rental & Purchase

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No known soundtrack CDs of this title.

MP3 clip from this title's soundtrack

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Cinema Aotearoa Review

Reviews at Letterboxd.com

Review by Reina Whaitiri University of Auckland - 2003

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Four Word Film Review

From Europe, Great Kauri Island sounded exotic, and Sarah was looking forward to visiting her mother there. But summer in the South Pacific turns out to be winter, her mother is busy in her lab, and Sarah's only consolation is her flute.
Until, that is, she meets school dropout Mako and rescues an injured albatross. Sarah's and Mako's mutual suspicion gives way to a deep bond as they nurse the bird back to health under the mystical guidance of Mako's Aunt Hattie -- a bond with the power, perhaps, to reconcile their two very different cultures.
-- From the HarperCollins book of the same name --


VIDEO VAULT - Links to trailers and clips for all titles.

Information at IMDB

Jan Preston - Composer - Official Website

6 July 1996 World Premiere on Great Barrier Island article

Translated Conversation with Werner Meyer in Kinder Jungend Kino Korrespondenz

Internet Movie Poster Awards


1996 - New Zealand Television and Film Awards - Best Supporting Actor: Pete Smith

1997 - Berlin Children's Film Festival: Best Feature Film

1997 - Jury Award - Giffoni Film Festival

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