Review: The Art of Recovery

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.

REVIEW: 

The Art of Recovery (PG)

106 mins ★★★★Kiwi cinematographer Peter Young's heart-warming documentary takes us around the carcass of Christchurch's CBD where out-of-towners may be amazed to see that locals have taken it upon themselves to embrace "rebuilding the spirit" as an artistic, rather than architectural enterprise.

While faceless houses and sideless buildings still scar the urban environment, myriad creative examples of pop-up optimism dot the spaces in between – the "gaps" that are being filled by the Gap Filler collective.

Whether you fancy a spot of outdoors swing dancing at the coin-operated dance-o-mat or are committed to utilising abandoned lots for "take what you need" community gardens, Christchurch's creative souls have been busy in recent years, ignoring the Government arrogance that has marginalised the local voice about how the city should be rebuilt, and simply getting on with making their city liveable again.

A dance-o-mat has been one of the many popular Gap Filler activities that have sprung up in central Christchurch since ...
David Walker

A dance-o-mat has been one of the many popular Gap Filler activities that have sprung up in central Christchurch since the 2010-11 earthquakes.

Cycle power runs outdoor cinemas, while a temporary art installation of 185 white chairs (memorialising those who perished in the 2011 quake) has been in situ longer than originally envisaged. Street artists make full use of their huge new canvasses, while dedicated actors create theatre without a theatre.

Passionate, articulate interviewees note that the earthquake's silver-lining has been the breaking down of barriers – both literal and metaphorical – between people in the Garden City's communities.

It's truly inspirational stuff, and an object lesson in spiritual restoration needing to come from the people and not those supposedly in power.

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 - Stuff

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