Screened as part of NZIFF 2010

Sam Hunt: Purple Balloon and Other Stories 2010

Directed by Tim Rose

Vivid, unvarnished portrait of New Zealand’s itinerant, ever-loquacious, rock ’n’ roll bard. With Robin White, Gary McCormick, C.K. Stead, David Kilgour, Dick Frizzell, Brian Edwards and a brief appearance by Minstrel.

83 minutes

Director, Photography


Jim Scott
Tim Rose

Executive producer

Vincent Burke


Douglas Frankl

Additional photography

Russell Collins, Kuika Illingworth, Jim Best, Darren Storm


Jim Scott, Morgan Samuel


David Kilgour


Sam Hunt, Robin White, Dick Frizzell, Brian Edwards, Colin Hogg, Karyn Hay, Denis Glover, Hone Tuwhare, Jan Kemp, James K. Baxter, Tom Hunt, Alf Hunt, Steven Hunt, Jonothan Hunt, Alister Taylor, C.K. Stead, Nick Bollinger, Gary McCormack
David Kilgour and the Heavy Eights, Isabella Rose, Isabella Howard

World Premiere

SkyCity Theatre, 25 July 2010

If every New Zealander over a certain age feels familiar enough with Sam Hunt to say gidday to the guy, this vivid, unvarnished portrait, which contains that suggestion, might give us pause. Tim Rose and Jim Scott have assembled their film from several sessions with the ever-loquacious, rock ’n’ roll bard; telling testimony from his friends, relatives and other experts; and screeds of lively footage from television archives dating back to 1970. Contradictions abound: he never spoke until he was four. An inspiring teacher himself, and clearly respected by decades of teachers who’ve taken him into their classrooms, he mocks teachers for analysing poetry, then himself spells out the metaphor of the de-winged butterfly. It’s a startlingly honest portrait of a man in a state of constant agitation with himself, but who’s long since known that he was a poet. He owns up to the booze and the bullshit, no worries, while plying his mordant commentaries on the body politic and his lyrical gift for brushing up against the mysteries of existence. — BG