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Thursday 09 October 2008

Review: Apron Strings

Posted in: Movies
By Matt Akersten - 16th July 2008

Gay shocker: Michael (Nathan Whitaker) comes out
New Zealand's film industry is certainly chugging along well at the moment - post Lord of the Rings - with Welly-wood seemingly competing with the Westie Aucklanders to see who can get more on screen and seen around the world.

The Opening Night of the NZ International Film Festival was a chance to see a new one, this time a multicultural drama from South Auckland, and I'm pleased to be able to report that we've got another hit on our hands.

The battles over Otahuhu boiling pots in Apron Strings begin as the actions of three adult children of two fatherless families - one Indian, two Pakeha - turn their mothers' lives upside-down. The Indian son Michael (Nathan Whitaker) is infinitely more virtuous than money-grubbing Pakeha waster Barry (Scott Wills)… and Barry's independent sister Virginia (Jodie Rimmer) makes waves with her advanced pregnancy and plans for her life after the birth.

Baby shocker: Virginia (Jodie Rimmer) is very pregnant
Michael's gay sexuality is hinted at early on and causes tension later, as he opens up more about it. His story, which also involves getting to know his mother and Indian identity, is believable, lovingly told and important. Plus, he's easy on the eye.

But despite all this, the other two children's revelations through the film are much more shocking and memorable. Barry's behaviour, particularly in the second half of the film, got the Opening Night audience protesting audibly, with many sharp intakes of breath!

Apron Strings could easily be the first episode in a television drama - one that I would definitely watch regularly. That's almost the only thing wrong with it - I'd just love to know what happens next.

We were lucky enough to be at the world première of Apron Strings, and now it's on its way to 15 other New Zealand centres as part of the NZ International Film Festival. See it where you can. The trailer is below, with a link to the NZFF website.

Matt Akersten - 16th July 2008