The Silent One

Silent One, The - 1984

Gibson Film Productions - 92 min.

DVD UPC/EAN # 9421016370993; 9120052890259

Cast: Telo Malese, George Henare, Pat Evison, Anzac Wallace,
Rongo Tupatea Kahu,Rongo Tupatea Kahu
Screenplay: Ian Mune (from a Joy Cowley novel); Photography: Ian Paul; Underwater Photography: Ron and Valerie Taylor; Music: Jenny McLeod; Editor: Jamie Selkirk; Producer: Dave Gibson; Director: Yvonne Mackay.

A baby is washed up on a Pacific Island and is adopted by a childless woman. The tribal priest takes an instant dislike to the child, proclaiming him a demon. The child is deaf and mute and therefore excluded from hunting with the other young men. Out of loneliness, he befriends a white turtle. When a drought befalls the island, the priest blames the silent one. When the chief protects the boy, the priest plots the chiefs' downfall. An OK story with fabulous underwater photography, a great storm scene, and a wonderful original soundtrack. Filmed in the Cook Islands. Recommended

Censor Rating: G - Review Rating: B-

The Silent One
Official MP4 Trailer


No known sources for new vhs copies. Expect used NTSC copies to cost up to $50us. Used PAL VHS copies will be at least $10nz.
Beginning 15 April 2009, a 25th Anniversary edition dvd became available in New Zealand, selling for about $30nz. It is an R0 Pal disc presenting it's original 1.33:1 image with 2.0 dolby digital sound. Other than ten chapter segments, there are no extras. There are no subtitles. If you have only seen this film from vhs, you will be more than pleased about the technical improvement of seeing and hearing it on dvd.

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

Fishpond International


NZFC OnDemand New Zealand Rental & Purchase

Aro Video OnDemand

WorldCat is the world's largest library catalog - Click to find the nearest Library that has this title.


Click for The Silent One Soundtrack CD Details

SOUNDTRACKS VAULT - Link to MP3 samples of all titles


Reviews at

SBS (AU) Review by Simon Foster

User comments at IMDB

Moria Review

Four Word Film Review

New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

"The Silent One includes on- water and under- water scenes. On- water scenes were the hardest to shoot, Gibson and Mackay said, because the sea could not be controlled. A unit might spend a whole day getting a few tricky shots [...] Although The Silent One is Mackay's first feature, she has a 15 year background as an actress, radio drama producer, and film director. She is pleased with what she has seen of the film. 'I look and I know there are moments of magic there'" - (Merrill Coke, "Film-making in Islands not beer and skittles", The Evening Post, January 3, 1984)

"Entering the record books as the first New Zealand feature by a woman director, Yvonne Mackay's The Silent One is a handsomely shot, intriguing, but uneven fable set on a mythical Polynesian island (actually Aitutaki Island, Rarotonga). [...] Mackay, graduating to features after cutting her teeth on documentaries and TV dramas, has fashioned a visually striking picture which makes excellent use of the location, a paradise on earth" - (Variety, May 16, 1984)

The Silent One has won five awards including the Best Film Soundtrack of the Year at the New Zealand Music Awards (it was the first NZ feature with a Dolby stereo soundtrack).


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

NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Information at the New Zealand Film Commission Website

Information at IMDB


1984 - New Zealand Music Awards: Best Film Soundtrack - Jenny McLeod.

1984 - Frankfurt Film Festival for Youth: Best Children's Film

1984 - Silver Gryphon - Giffoni Film Festival for Children, Italy

1985 - Moscow Film Festival: Silver Medal: Children's Section, Russia

1985 - Figuera de Foz Festival, Portugal: Best Children's Film

1986 - Chicago Children's Film Festival: Best Cinematography

1986 - Paris Film Festival for Children and young people - Best Actor: Telo Malase also - Special Jury Prize for Best Film

NZVideos Logo

Comments, suggestions or questions are welcomed at, but delete the nospam portion before sending