Film Scouts Reviews

"War Stories"

by Cari Beauchamp

At every festival, there are one or two rare gems, and at the 48th Festival one of those is a film called War Stories. In this case, the title does not tell all for it is the tale of seven New Zealand women and how WWII affected them. Interlaced with documentary footage, clips and family photos, the women reveal with great candor how their lives were changed by the war, the men who loved and then left them and the communities in which they lived. Instead of watching a documentary, one feels more like we are listening to a conversation between intimate friends at the end of a wonderful evening. Producer/ director Gaylene Preston interviewed over 100 women before selecting the seven who share their lives in War Stories. The breath of their experiences and the depth of emotion with which they tell them had the small theater's audience laughing out loud with tears in their eyes. The discipline that went into editing the film into one and half hours demands respect and perhaps the highest praise that can be given Preston is the audience, saturated with film going, actually left the film wanting more.

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