DVD review: When a city falls

By Craig Nicholson

How do you do justice to the agony and emotion suffered by the people of Christchurch over the past 18 months?

What started as a large and scary quake in September 2010, turned into a deadly nightmare just over five months later.

Local film-maker Gerard Smyth had his camera at the ready for both quakes and displays heartfelt understanding of what was happening to his city.

What Smyth has done is capture the raw emotion of people he encountered as he, like thousands of others in the city, wandered bewildered among the post-quake ruins.

What he was seeing, and others were telling him, was about a sense of shock and disbelief at what they had seen and what they had been though.

What Smyth has produced is the type of documentary that offers some understanding to those of us who have no appreciation of what the people of Christchurch went through.

The raw emotion is evident as Smyth himself breaks down when he comes across the heavily damaged Catholic Church he had served in many years previously as an alter boy.

When you watch it you are drawn into their world of suffering.

You will also be able to watch it in years to come as memories fade of the destruction and the city of Christchurch re-emerges.


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When A City Falls

(M), Roadshow Entertainment

Rating: 4 / 5 stars

- Hamilton News

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