Something completely different from the director of Beasts of the Southern Wild (NZIFF12), this swirling, kaleidoscopic take on the adventures of Peter Pan and Wendy in Neverland is uniquely for both mature kids and wide-eyed adults.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2020
This film is screening in select cinemas and venues across the country. See here for details.
The eight long years since Benh Zeitlin’s magical first film landed countless awards and four Oscar nominations have created both buzz and speculation, owing to the mythic status a project by a director of Zeitlin’s instant acclaim deserves. His adaptation of the classic J.M. Barrie tale, at last complete, is every bit the original, defiantly alternative reimagining we expected – and just maybe, is destined for cult status.
Centred on a hardscrabble Louisiana family, the film introduces young Wendy (Devin France), whose obsession with a mysterious boy seen leaping between railcars compels her to jump aboard a train with her twin brothers, where they meet the one and only Peter Pan (Yashua Mack). Whisked off to a strange volcanic island, the kids revel in an untamed landscape that promises they’ll never grow old. Dancing between images of Disney-like wonder, scenes of salty mischief-making (reminiscent of The Florida Project) and darker encounters that may frighten younger viewers, it’s a film that plays to its own beat, rebelling against the conventional wisdom of what a Peter Pan story should look, sound and feel like, to be precisely the thing it wants to be.
About the Filmmaker
Benh Zeitlin is a writer, director and composer based in New Orleans. His feature debut, Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), received the Camera d’Or at Cannes and Academy Award-nominations for writing, direction, best film and best actress. He has composed music for his own films and others, including Brimstone & Glory (NZIFF18).