We went up to Dunedin to the International Film Festival but got the theatres muddled and saw instead Hampstead with Diane Keaton and Brian Gleeson instead. A lovely warm film about a man up against bureaucracy (much in the spirit of Still Mine, a little Canadian film, one of my favourites of all time). Donald is a cantankerous older man living in a shack (a large shack but still a building without amenities beyond what he has built himself). He is facing eviction. Diane Keaton, playing a woman whose husband has died leaving her with big debts and the knowledge of his double life) sees him through her binoculars and gets to know her. The film shows them getting together and she builds a campaign to Save the Shack.
They get him to court, where the judge says there is no documentary evidence to support his claim, but then he remembers when he was first there having a run-in with another man who had his injury fixed at a hospital and was prepared to give evidence.
They go back to his shack but then she wants to know their future plans and they end up fighting and she leaves. But he turns up later on the river in his shack turned boat and it ends happily.
Then we did get to a Film Festival film – Summer of ’93. Brilliant acting by two very young girls, one playing a 6-year-old and one a four-year-old. She at least can’t have been older than five. No real story, or at least the plot events taking place off-screen and mostly earlier. Just a study of coping with the arrival of an orphaned niece who portrays her vulnerability combined with a disposition for lying and sneakiness.