Hamish Bennett’s Bellbird Antidote to Winter Gloom
“Warming the cockles of audience hearts at last year’s Sydney Film Festival, New Zealander Hamish Bennett’s comedy Bellbird is a defiantly optimistic tribute to the Northland region where the primary school teacher-cum-filmmaker grew up,” Annabel Brady-Brown writes in a review of the film for ABC News.
“An expansion of his award-winning 2014 short about a devoted older couple, Ross & Beth, Bellbird’s winsome story of grief and growth rolls unerringly along well-worn grooves, with enough ‘offbeat’ jokes to keep matters light,” Brady-Brown writes.
“Shooting unpretentiously, and often from the ground in the muck, cinematographer Grant McKinnon captures the modest farmhouse and damp rolling hills evocatively, lingering on sagging fences and dainty wildflowers that grow by the side of the gravel road, to a hand-knitted tea cosy that adorns the kitchen table.
“For those tired of city-slicker nihilism or in need of a feel-good hit, this is a bittersweet pastoral song to cut through the winter gloom, and a timely affirmation of the importance of community.”
Original article by Annabel Brady-Brown, ABC News, July 3, 2020.
Photo by Transmission Films.