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The Strength of Water Details


A boy is comfortably haunted by the ghost of his recently deceased sister in this fusion of fantasy and realism from filmmaker Armagan Ballantyne. Kimi (Hato Paparoa) and Melody (Melanie Mayall-Nahi) are twin ten-year-old siblings growing up in a Maori village along the northern coast of New Zealand. Kimi and Melody's parents Gibby (Jim Moriarty) and Joy (Nancy Brunning) scrape together a living raising chickens, and the twins help them along with their teenage brother Gene (Shyane Biddle). When Tai (Isaac Barber), a quiet and mildly eccentric man, moves into a nearby house left empty by the recent death of Tai's grandfather, Kimi and Melody strike up a friendship with him, but when Melody dies during a visit to Tai's house, many in the village believe the new arrival is responsible for her death. Gene feels certain that Tai killed his sister, and he and a gang of youths are determined to get revenge. Kimi, however, isn't sure that his sister is really dead, especially since her spirit follows him as he goes about his chores and reminds him about his duties around the farm. The Strength of Water was an official selection at the 2009 Seattle International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:August 27, 2009


Hato Paparoa
as Kimi
Melanie Mayall-Nahi
as Melody
Nancy Brunning
as Joy
Isaac Barber
as Tai
Pare Paseka
as Tirea


Armagan Ballantyne
Fiona Copland
Raimond Goebel
Bogumil Godfrejow
Peter Golub
Composer (Music Score)
Elizabeth Kling