The fascinating story of New Zealand’s Partington collection: their amazing discovery. The storm of protest that erupted over their ownership and sale and the surprising resolution.
The tribes of Whanganui take their name, their spirit and their strength from the great river which flows from the mountains of the central North Island to the sea. For centuries, people have travelled the Whanganui River by canoe, caught eels in it, built villages on its banks, and fought over it.
I Am the River traces the journey of the Partington collection of 19th century photographs of Whanganui Maori. The 2001 chance discovery of these previously unknown photographs in a garage in the Bay of Islands provides a rare visual insight into 19th century NZ history and forged a link between Maori in the present with Tupuna in the past. However, it provoked a cultural clash that pitted Maori and Pakeha views of ownership against each other. Directors McNeill and Cutore documented the events with its surprising resolution.
BEST NEW ZEALAND DOCUMENTARY FEATURE – Documentary Edge Awards 2011
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - Documentary Edge Awards 2011
BEST EDITING - Documentary Edge Awards 2011
BEST ARTS/FESTIVAL/FEATURE DOCUMENTARY and BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - AFTA 2011 (Aotearoa Film & Television Awards)