Sylvia DVD

Sylvia still

Sylvia - 1985

Southern Light Pictures - 101 min.
UPC 9418212008294

Cast: Eleanor David, Tom Wilkinson, Nigel Terry, Mary Regan, Martyn Sanderson, Terence Cooper, David Letch, Sarah Peirce.
Crew: Screenplay: Michele Quill, Ferdinand Fairfa, Michael Firth (based upon Sylvia Ashton- Warner's writings); Photography: Ian Paul; Editor: Michael Horton; Music: Leonard Rosenman; Producers; Don Reynolds, Michael Firth; Director: Michael Firth.

A dramatised account of the events which led Sylvia Ashton-Warner to develop the revolutionary approach to teaching which won her worldwide acclaim. When Sylvia and her husband, arrive at a small country school (Puhoi), they find that many of the pupils cannot read. She finds that the dull, inflexible approach to teaching, as dictated by the Education Department, fails to engage the interest of these country kids, many of whom are Maori. When she develops a more exciting approach, officials become even more inflexible. A short intro piece of Ashton-Warner herself provides a nice start for this worthy film.

Censor Rating: PG - Review Rating: B-

Official MP4 Trailer


Expect used NTSC VHS to cost $10-15us. Used PAL VHS copies sell for at least 5# or $15nz. PAL vhs copies of this title is OOP.

As of February 2009, it became available on PAL R0 DVD selling for under $15nz, but only from New Zealand sources.

Aro Video of Wellington - Recommended NZ Reseller

Jigsaw Entertainment of Auckland - Recommended Seller


No known soundtrack CDs of this title.

MP3 clip from this title's soundtrack

SOUNDTRACKS VAULT - Link to MP3 samples of all titles


New Zealand Film Archive Info and Reviews

Channel 4 Review

Reviews at

Time Out Review

Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat Review

Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Review

New Zealand Film Commission Synopsis

Janet Maslin,The New York Times Review

Victoria University article on Sylvia Ashton-Warner


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

NZ On Screen Videos & Comments

Information at IMDB

Three 1975 video clips from a documentary of Sylvia Ashton-Warner.


1986 - New Zealand Film Awards - Best Supporting Female: Mary Regan.

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