Flight of the Albatross

"Flight of the Albatross" (1995)
Thu 7 Mar 2013 to Thu 7 Mar 2013
Event type: 
$8 public / $6 concession
The New Zealand Film Archive
corner Ghuznee and Taranaki streets, Wellington


The New Zealand Film Archive screens Flight of the Albatross (1995), a Germany/New Zealand co-production that deals with cultural difference. The film tells the story of a Berlin teenager who comes to New Zealand, and falls in love while caring for an injured albatross.

From Berlin, New Zealand’s Kauri Island sounded exotic, and Sarah (Julia Brendler) was looking forward to visiting her mother there. But it turns out, her mother is busy in her lab, the people on the island seem strange, and Sarah’s only consolation is her flute.

That is until she meets school dropout Mako (Taungaroa Emile), whose wild behaviour has had him returned to Kauri Island to live with his mother and stepfather.

When Sarah rescues an injured albatross, Sarah and Mako’s mutual suspicion gives way to a deep bond as they nurse the bird back to health under the mystical guidance of Mako’s Aunt Hatai. A bond with the power, perhaps, to reconcile their two very different cultures, and save the mountain from its ancient curse.

“A co-venture between NZ and German film makers, Flight of the Albatross stars actors from both countries with veteran Australian guest actor, Jack Thompson. The young lead actors Taungaroa Emile and Julia Brendler, along with the pride of the island, Diane Heke making her screen debut, were entirely convincing and credible... Based on the book of the same name, the film was adapted for the screen by Once Were Warriors scriptwriter, Riwia Brown... a love story between a Maori boy living on Great Barrier Island and a German girl visiting her scientist mother working on the island. Many conflicting expectations of the two intertwine with their traditional differences making for gentle and provocative drama. The star of the film is undoubtedly Great Barrier Island. With its myriad changing faces, enticing and captivating with all profiles and moods ‘on camera’ it merits diva status.” — Robyn Duncan Cox, Eastern Courier, 7 August 1996.

Flight of the Albatross will screen at 7pm, Thursday 7 and Saturday 9 March.

Contact details


Phone 499 FILM (3456)

Written by

Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision

27 Feb 2013

Interests Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision is the operating name for the New Zealand Archive of Film, Television and Sound Ngā Taonga Whitiāhua Me Ngā Taonga Kōrero.