Sylvia - 1985
Southern Light Pictures - 101 min.
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-