This Way Of Life
This Way Of Life

This Way Life


    Friday 1 October 6:15pm

  • Screening with "Skylight"


85 mins

Director: Thomas Burstyn Country: New-Zealand
Writer: Thomas Burstyn Original Format: N/A
Dir. of Photography: Thomas Burstyn Print Source: Julie Rouyer
Producer: Barbara Sumner Burstyn
Cast: N/A

Film Details

UK Premiere

Short Synopsis:

A film about a family. Mum, dad, six kids and 50 wild horses; a beach, a mountain and a burnt down house.


A unique and intimate portrait of family solidarity, This Way of Life follows the Maori Karena family as they rise to meet the challenges threatening to destabilize their rural lifestyle. Shot over four years, the documentary charts one couple's refusal to concede their values to seemingly insurmountable troubles. With six children and fifty horses, Peter and Colleen somehow remain philosophical through arson, miscarriage and theft, dedicating themselves to the idyllic and isolated life they have chosen for themselves and their children.

Shot against the jaw-achingly beautiful backdrop of New Zealand's Ruahine ranges, lush greens and mist-laced horizons become a peaceful anchor to familial drama. With knowing skill, Tom Burnstyn's camerawork is subtle and understated, allowing the philosophies of Peter and Colleen to resonate with honesty against the mountainous backdrop. As her fearless offspring ride bareback along empty beaches, Colleen's worry that she is raising her children “to be disappointed” by what lies outside their childhood seems at once understandable and ridiculous. It is made powerfully clear that there is as much resilience as there is fragility in the Karena's lifestyle - a dualism that the film reminds us, is present in children too. Insightful yet unobtrusive, This Way of Life is a masterful exploration of the Karena's unbreakable spirits, and their admirable refusal to compromise.


All films to be screened at:

Apollo Cinema: Piccadilly Circus
19 Lower Regent Street