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This hauntingly powerful true-life story about Janet Frame, one of New Zealand’s most distinguished writers, was writer-director Jane Campion's international breakthrough.
Jane Campion’s hauntingly powerful true-life story about Janet Frame, one of New Zealand’s most distinguished writers, won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. Awkward, withdrawn and anxious since childhood—and already nursing dreams of becoming a novelist—the teenaged Janet is eventually committed to an institution by her uncomprehending parents. Misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, she is given two hundred electroshock treatments over eight years of institutionalization, and is shortlisted for a lobotomy until her writing gives her doctors second thoughts. “Frame’s struggle to see the world with her own eyes, her longing for beauty in nature and in art, her refusal of sentimentality and self-pity, her clear-eyed appraisal of herself and of others, and, above all, her marvelous intelligence are not only inspiring, they add up to someone who’s immensely lovable and lovely to watch” (Amy Taubin).