River Queen

River Queen - 2005

Silverscreen Films/The Film Consortium - 109 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9321337065823; 796019816762; 5050582480795; 796019816755; 3512391325657
Blu-ray UPC/EAN # 8436533823540(ES)

Cast: Samantha Morton, Kiefer Sutherland, Cliff Curtis, Temuera Morrison, Anton Lesser, Rawiri Pene, Stephen Rea, Wi Kuki Kaa
Screenplay: Vincent Ward, Toa Fraser; Director of Photography: Alun Bollinger; Visual Effects Supervisor: George Port ; Music: Karl Jenkins; Editing: Ewa J. Lind; Costume Design: Barbara Darragh; Production Design: Rick Kofoed; Producers: Chris Auty, Don Reynolds; Director: Vincent Ward.

This historical drama, set in 1860s New Zealand, focuses on the Whanganui River valley and an Irish settler's seven year effort in trying to find her son, kidnapped by his Maori grandfather. All the while, colonials and Maori are engaged in guerrilla-style warfare. This is probably Ward's best film to date and probably the best Maori themed film yet made. The settings and photography are worth viewing, even though the film is not perfect. I was left with the feeling that some further improvements were needed with editing. But given the production problems, there may have been some filming needs that were not fulfilled. Very much worth seeing.

Censor Rating: M - Review rating: B

River Queen
Official MP4 Trailer


The film is presented 1.85:1, enhanced for 16x9. The soundtrack is 5.1 English. The only extra is the original theatrical trailer.
As of 28 October 2008, an R4 pal re-issue in New Zealand was selling for about $20nz.
There is an R2 pal version available from the Netherlands, with English soundtrack and Dutch subtitles for about 25eur. As of October 2014, DaaVeeDee.com was selling copies for about $20us.
There is an R0 ntsc version from Brazil that in addition to the features mentioned above, has both an English and a Portuguese soundtrack, plus subtitles in English, Spanish and Portuguese. It will cost you about $20us, including shipping.
There is a Thai DVD release with the original spoken DD 5.1 English, a spoken DD 5.1 Thai track as well as optional English and Thai subtitles, selling for about $11us. As of 25 November, 2008, an ntsc R1 English language version is available from U.S. and Canadian sources, selling for about $15us. It has both English and Spanish subtitles.

A Blu-ray was released 2012 from a Spanish distributor, selling between $25-35us or 15-20eur. Outside of Europe, the only reliable source I can find and recommend is . The all-region 1080p disc has both English and Spanish DD 5.1 language soundtracks. Surprisingly, it has no subtitles or extras. It is presented 1.85:1, enhanced for 16x9.

Aro Video of Wellington has rental copies available for New Zealand addresses

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River Queen Soundtrack CD Details

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Cinema Aotearoa Review

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Reviews at Letterboxd.com

Reviews at Flicks.co.nz

Matthew Turner's Review in View Dunedin

Michaeldvd Review

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Paul Kalina Review

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Internet Movie Poster Awards


August 2006 - New Zealand Screen Awards
Best Cinematography: Alun Bollinger
Best Costume Design: Barbara Darragh

June 2006 - Shanghai International Film Festival
Golden Goblet Award for Best Music - Karl Jenkins

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