SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME


Comments and Review from 'Sequence'

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September 1979

The next New Zealand feature to be seen on our screens will be Paul Maunder's SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME, based on the novel of the same name by Samoan author Albert Wendt. Of his novel, Wendt says: "I think SONS is really a simple love story about different types of love. Is is about every migrant's dream of the grand return home; about racism, and about attempts to reach some measure of racial understanding. Ultimately it is about youth: about two young people trying to find themselves; about a young Samoan who, through the tragedy of his deep love for a New Zealand girl, learns who and what he is and learns to accept his identity. To sound really grand, I think SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME is about Polynesia - what it was, what it is, what it is becoming." Shooting of the film was completed on schedule, with locations not only in New Zealand but also in Western Samoa and London. Strong international interest is being shown in the film which has special appeal because of its Samoan locations.


February 1980

SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME had a successful five-week season in Auckland's Westend Cinema followed by a further three weeks in Auckland's suburbs toward the end of last year. It grossed more than $50,000 in the city release, putting it among the top earners and competing with the Hollywood blockbuster ROCKY II for top figures. Writing in the AUCKLAND STAR, critic Nicholas Reid said: "SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME is a humane film. It is bound to promote greater racial and cultural understanding, which was surely a large part of the film-makers' intentions, and it leaves a wealth of sharp social observations to chew on ... Uelese Petaia is a commanding presence - by turns reserved, shy, sullen and angry, yet always giving the role of Sione a sense of dignity. Moira Walker (as Sione's domineering mother) ... is always convincing ... Writer-director Paul Maunder has filled SONS FOR THE RETURN HOME with memorable and telling details ... In many ways this country's most significant film to date."




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