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“Ada, her nine year old daughter, and her piano arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of nineteenth century New Zealand. Of all her belongings, her husband refuses to transport the piano and it is left behind on the beach. Unable to bear its certain destruction, Ada strikes a bargain with an illiterate, tattooed neighbour. She may earn her piano back if she allows him to do certain things while she plays: one black key for every lesson. The arrangement draws all three deeper into a complex emotional, sexual bond remarkable for its naive passion and frightening disregard for limits” (Quoted from publicity flyer)

“Based in Sydney, Campion was drawn to New Zealand’s colonial past when she began working on the script in 1984. ‘I think that it’s a strange heritage that I have as a pakeha New Zealander, and I wanted to be in a position to touch or explore that [...] In contrast to the original people in New Zealand, the Maori people, who have such an attachment to history, or at least not the same tradition. This makes you start to ask, ‘Who are my ancestors?’ My ancestors are English colonisers - the people who came out like Ada and Stewart and Baines”’ (“Campion explores her ‘strange heritage’”, The Evening Post, May 19, 1993)

The Piano co-won the Palme d’Or at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival, and won Oscars for Best Original Screenplay (Jane Campion), Best Actress (Holly Hunter) and Best Supporting Actress for Anna Paquin at the 1994 Academy Awards.

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Year 1993

Reference number F29237

Collection Film and Video Collection

Media type Moving Image

Place of Production AUSTRALIA, FRANCE

Genre Feature

Duration 2:02:00

Production company Jan Chapman Productions, Ciby 2000

Location information

Credits Ada: Holly Hunter
Baines: Harvey Keitel
Stewart: Sam Neill
Flora: Anna Paquin
Aunt Morag: Kerry Walker
Te Koori: Gordon Hatfield
Nessie: Genevieve Lemon
Hira: Tungia Baker
Kamira: Lawrence Wharerau (Ngā Puhi)
Director: Jane Campion
Producer: Jan Chapman
Screenplay: Jane Campion
Executive Producer: Alain Depardieu
Associate Producer: Mark Turnbull
Director of Photography: Stuart Dryburgh
Camera: Alun Bollinger
Production Designer: Andrew McAlpine
Costume Designer: Janet Patterson
Music Composed: Michael Nyman
Editor: Veronika Jenet
Reverend: Ian Mune

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