Ahead of her 100th birthday, Isey and her devoted son James prepare for the party of a lifetime. Ngāti Manu woman Isey Cross lives with her youngest son, James, on a farm in Kawakawa, a small town on New Zealand’s North Island. Cheeky and vivacious, the 99-year-old is preparing to celebrate her centenary. Over the next seven days, as James organizes the festivities, director Florian Habicht captures their devoted bond – to each other and to the spirit world – as well as their infectious aroha (love).
Habicht does more than just invite audiences to spend an incredible week with this charismatic duo and their friends, however: he also traces significant events and milestones in Aotearoa over the 100 years of Isey’s lifetime. The result is a cheerful and big-hearted observational documentary that recounts the inextricably linked stories of person and place. JAMES & ISEY is an unclassifiable triumph of heart and instinct over the odds.
Courtesy of Te Tumu Whakaata Taonga New Zealand Film Commission