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New Zealand

My Cyclone Gabriel | Aftermath

Series classification: PG (parental guidance)

Director: Skye Clark

When Cyclone Gabriel hit Esk Valley in full force, the Gray family sought safety on the roof, but Chris Barber and his children survived by climbing through a hole in the ceiling. Aftermath explores the physical, material and emotional toll of these families and how they and their communities are healing. This is a story where trauma and healing, mana and whanau come together.

Skye Clarke initially filmed a supply drop from a military helicopter into the small town of Mohaka in Hawke’s Bay, but her focus soon changed.

“I remember crying over the loss of my life while flying over Esk Valley.

“But being cut off from Whanau in Taupo and isolated overnight was a real shock.”

her documentary aftermath Explore the devastation Cyclone Gabriel left in Esk Valley and how Hawke’s Bay families are working to put their lives back together after their homes, businesses and livelihoods were destroyed.

In the film, Clark interviews Chris Barber, owner of the Zeeland Brewery in the Esk Valley.

“My brother also owns a brewery in Taupo, so it was easy for me to relate to Chris because I know how much work goes into creating such a business and lifestyle. Because I know,” Clark said.

Clark says the interview was difficult to film, and the sentiment can be seen throughout the documentary.

“His lifelong dream has been affected, so filming and editing his story made me feel a lot more responsible for his own health and well-being,” Clark said. said.

While driving through a ravine, Clark sees some people working hard around a dilapidated house and stops.

She approached the house and met the owner, Kerei Gray, and her son, Heji.

“I was really drawn to his son Hye Ji. He was so energetic and gorgeous and such a wonderful kid. I was so intrigued by their relationship,” Clark said.

She says she felt she learned a lot from the Gray family about Wailua and the importance of their land.

“They were working to heal the spirit from trauma. They were doing it by working in the house and tending and caring for their land,” she said. rice field.

Clarke’s film opens and closes with shots of Clarke himself and his son sitting on a couch and cuddling, indicating that it’s “the story of all of us.”

“There was a lot of shock and disbelief that I was at home. Literally 5km away, people were being rescued from the roofs of their homes, and we didn’t know because there was no internet. No,” Clark said.

Clark says everyone in Hawke’s Bay is incredibly affected, no matter where you live.

Sky Clark, Director
photograph: Sky Clark

In Her Own Words – Aftermath Director Skye Clarke

I remember watching the forecast on the news the night before Cyclone Gabriel hit us. Weather maps showed Hawke’s Bay may have missed bearing the brunt of the cyclone, but it still had to be careful.

That night I awoke to see the trees blowing and hear rain on the roof. What unfolded over the next few days is still unknown to me.

Many years ago I was working as a documentary producer for television. Suddenly, I was out of documentary retirement and filming in a Defense Force chopper delivering supplies to isolated communities.

Flying over the Esk Valley, tears rolled down my cheeks as I filmed the carnage below. This once-beautiful region is now battered and silted.

This valley is also the road that leads me to my family in Taupo, which is impassable in its current state. I am also isolated from my family.

I grew up further up Route 5 through this valley. As a teenager, I used to drive past churches and vineyards and daydream about the romantic life there.

Chris Barber of Zealot Brewery was living the life I dreamed of as a teenager. He had married his sweetheart at the local church, lived in a vineyard, and built his family business around it.

Chris personally worked sweat and tears and made countless sacrifices to make his dream come true.

For him, it’s hard to remember what life was like before the cyclone. Who are we when the dreams we worked for are gone? How do you continue? How do you get the energy to start over?

In the weeks that followed, the weather continued to wreak havoc on our lives, with constant rain warnings. I have seen the emotional impact on my son – he is scared of the rain now. Now when it rains our community rushes to pick up the kids from school and we I leave work early to go home.

Chris lives near Gray Whanau. Hezi had the courage to adore me at once. His dad, Kerei, looked strong, but he showed he was a gentle giant.With his whanau Wailua and Mana at the forefront, I hope they will be with the Valley and their homes. I could feel it when I held it.

They went through hell that night, but they were working and cheering to support each other. Again, I wonder what will happen to their whanau if the faction that controls Esk Valley becomes the Red Zone and they can’t have their whanau here.

It’s been seven years since I started making documentaries. I personally didn’t have to shoot.

Doing everything inspires anxiety, to say the least. Mud and dust added to the challenge. But the truth about Chris, Kelley, Hyeji, and my son drove me to shoot.

I hope this film helps our community come together so we can continue to grow.

In this short documentary series, four award-winning New Zealand filmmakers spend 72 hours living the life of devastating Cyclone Gabriel, exploring their communities and themselves in the worst-hit areas of the country. They capture the aftermath of their own experiences from where they live.

Each stand-alone mini-documentary is immersed in the lives of people on the ground as they take action and drop, rebuild, or clean up vital supplies in stranded communities.

Fast, urgent and important, this short documentary series reveals the stories behind the headlines and is told from a uniquely personal perspective.

NZ on air

NZ on air
photograph: Zoa

https://www.rnz.co.nz/programmes/my-cyclone-gabrielle/story/2018884466/my-cyclone-gabrielle-aftermath My Cyclone Gabriel | Aftermath

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