Other Halves video

Other Halves - 1984

Finlayson Hill Productions - 102 min.

Cast: Lisa Harrow, Mark Pilisi, Paul Gittins, Clare Clifford, Bruce Purchase, Emma Piper, Temuera Morrison.
Screenplay: Sue McCauley; Photography: Leon Narbey; Editor: Harley Oliver; Music: Don McGlashan; Producers: Tom Finlayson, Dean Hill; Director: John Laing.

A Polynesian (Nuie) street-kid and a much older middle-class housewife are both incarcerated in the same mental hospital - she for attempted suicide and he for habitual crime. A friendship grows between them such that she offers him a place to stay upon his release. However, difficulties arise with his continued criminal activities and dependence on her for support - then his gang moves in with them. The film is based upon Sue McCauley's award winning autobiographical novel.

Censor Rating: M - Review Rating: B-

Other Halves
Official MP4 Clip


No known sources for new copies in any format. Last known new PAL VHS copies sold for $40nz. As of July 2010, no known sources for used copies. This title has never been legally available on DVD.
If you are in New Zealand, you can rent it from Aro Video of Wellington. They will ship to any New Zealand location.

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New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Time Out Review

Eleanor Mannikka Review at allmovie.com

Reviews at Letterboxd.com

Wellington Film Society Review

New Zealand Film Commission Synopsis

IMDB User Comments

"Based on a book by Sue McCauley, who wrote the script, the film pursues an erratic course between optimism and pessimism, suggesting a future for the pair, if a doubtful one. Principally it is about two lonely people who might never have much more than each other. Easily the most interesting character is the boy, played by Mark Pilisi in his acting debut with the kind of direct strength that seems entirely credible. There is no attempt to sentimentalise the character who is both capable of affection and also careless of it" - (The Guardian, October 9, 1986)

"Maybe Other Halves is the most important movie to have been made here. It deals with the complex issues of rich /poor, young /old, and Polynesian /Pakeha in an accessible and highly moving way. A powerful statement...a brilliant screenplay. It is a movie I can't stop thinking and raving about" - (John Parker, Metro, February 1985)

Has the unfortunate tendency to make Auckland look like chic Manhattan, and praised by reviewers who wished it was. Doubtless sincere reflection on racial encounter, but unwittingly highly patronizing. The brown boy (about whose background we learn virtually nothing) is basically rendered as an emotional convenience for the white woman. (Nicholas Reid - 'A Decade of New Zealand Film')

"Lisa Harrow's Liz is no less than magnificent. Mark Pilisi makes an impressive debut. Director John Laing has many reasons for pride in this handsome film. For Mark Pilisi and Lisa Harrow it is a triumph." - THE LISTENER


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