THE PIANO
1993, Park Circus/Miramax, 121 min, Dir: Jane Campion

In 1851, mute Scottish woman Ada McGrath (Best Actress winner Holly Hunter) arrives in colonial New Zealand for an arranged marriage, with her precocious young daughter (Best Supporting Actress Anna Paquin) and beloved piano in tow. Her practical new husband (Sam Neill) refuses to transport the piano to their home and makes a deal with his neighbor, George Baines (Harvey Keitel), to take the piano off his hands. Attracted to Ada, Baines agrees to return the piano in exchange for a series of piano lessons that become a series of increasingly charged sexual encounters. As pent-up emotions of rage and desire swirl around all three characters, the savage wilderness begins to consume the tiny European enclave. Edited by Veronika Jenet.


LONE STAR
1996, Warner Bros., 135 min, USA, Dir: John Sayles

Chris Cooper plays an easygoing Texas sheriff who discovers unpleasant truths about his town and his own past in this intricately plotted murder mystery. Displaying his usual talent for ensemble characterization, director John Sayles follows nearly a dozen major players (Kris Kristofferson, Frances McDormand and Matthew McConaughey are among the film's many talented actors) as their stories intersect and raise questions about political corruption, multiculturalism, and other contemporary issues.


ONCE WERE WARRIORS
1994, HanWay Films, 102 min, New Zealand, Dir: Lee Tamahori

The nominal head of the dysfunctional family at the center of this gut-wrenching drama is Jake Heke (Temuera Morrison), an alcoholic powderkeg. Wife Beth (Rena Owen) is used to his abuse, but life on the poor side of Otara, New Zealand is beginning to take its toll on their five children – and that may be enough to get her to take a stand. With its title reflecting Beth’s Maori heritage, the film is both inspiring and heartbreaking by turns, with unforgettable lead performances illuminating these complex characters. With Cliff Curtis.


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