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The Screen Guide

Ada, her nine-year-old daughter, and her piano, arrive to an arranged marriage in the remote bush of 19th century New Zealand. Of all her belongings, her husband refuses to transport the piano and it is left behind on the beach. Unable to bear its certain destruction, Ada strikes a bargain with an illiterate neighbour. She may earn her piano back if she allows him to do certain things while she plays: one black key for every lesson. The arrangement draws all three deeper and deeper into a complex emotional, sexual bond, remarkable for its naive passion and frightening disregard for limits.

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Jane Campion
Jane Campion
Jan Chapman
Dir. of Photography
Stuart Dryburgh
Veronika Jenet
Production Designer
Andrew McAlpine


Holly Hunter - Harvey Keitel - Sam Neill - Anna Paquin - Kerry Walker - Genevieve Lemon - Tungia Baker

Production Details

Production Completion
Production Company
Jan Chapman Films Pty Ltd


International Sales
TF1 (Societe Nationale TV Francaise)

Selected Awards & Festivals

Screen News

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By Sandy George
Lion’s jump from page to screen