Christchurch rebuild documentary The Art of Recovery to premiere video

PETER YOUNG/Vimeo

A new feature-length documentary from award-winning Christchurch director Peter Young will be shown for the first time at NZIFF - Christchurch, 7-23 August 2015.

A feature on the creative rebuild of Christchurch opens at the International Film Festival next week.

Christchurch documentary-maker Peter Young's new film, The Art of Recovery, will premiere at the Isaac Theatre Royal next month.

The film investigates the grassroots artistic and creative responses to the Canterbury earthquakes and how they contrast with the government-led recovery blueprint.

Gap Filler founders Coralie Winn and Ryan Reynolds cut some rug on the Dance-O-Mat coin-operated dance floor on ...
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Gap Filler founders Coralie Winn and Ryan Reynolds cut some rug on the Dance-O-Mat coin-operated dance floor on Gloucester St.

It features Christchurch street artist Wongi, Gap Filler projects, Johnny Moore's Smash Palace bar and Peter Majendie's 185 Empty Chairs memorial sculpture.

Young said the community projects contrast with the Government's anchor projects.

"The blueprint and the government-led recovery put a lot of faith in these anchor projects and attracting investment around them but a city is all about its people. That is the message," he said.

Ronnie van Hout's Comin' Down sculpture on the roof of the C1 building on High St in central Christchurch.
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Ronnie van Hout's Comin' Down sculpture on the roof of the C1 building on High St in central Christchurch.

"It is a very different approach. Seeing them side by side creates a really good discussion. I hope this film adds to this dialogue. The discussion is about how we want this city to be and what makes a healthy city.

"We are seeing two very different approaches in Christchurch at the moment and I think the city is now at a fairly critical point. It is a good opportunity and a good time to start look at what we want this city to be."

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and former rebuild chief Warwick Isaacs were both interviewed for the documentary.

Wellington street artists BMD create a large blueprint-inspired piece of street art in Cashel St.
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Wellington street artists BMD create a large blueprint-inspired piece of street art in Cashel St.

"They contrast with the grassroots recovery," Young said.

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Young said he wanted to capture the inspiring energy of the creative response to the quakes.

"It is a story about the wonderful human spirit and what we do in times of crisis to help each other.

"It was a collective movement. People were responding and bringing a sense of community to the place. It was the silver lining to the quakes, the way that people responded.

"I think it defined Christchurch in those first few years and hopefully will define Christchurch in the future. These are the things that make the city interesting."

The documentary will premiere at the Isaac Theatre Royal on August 13 and 18 as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival and will be broadcast on TV1 later this year.

 - Stuff

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