The Extraordinary Celia Lashlie

Ralph McAllister says that “Celia” is a beautifully shaped and desperately moving account of Celia’s life and death.

Meeting in person in prison

I met Celia Lashlie some twenty years ago when her life-long friend Heather Main persuaded me to go down to the Christchurch Women’s Prison.

There we saw a self devised show performed by the inmates, after their having worked with director Jim Moriarty.

It was a searingly honest account of some of the women’s lives and left a deep impression on all who saw the public performances.

Keeping up the contact

Heather, Celia and I had dinner that night and I sat spellbound listening to Ces talk for about two hours.

She talked about handing over the power to mothers, power to make decisions, power to stand up in protecting children.

I knew from my own work the similarities in our respective philosophies.

I knew I had met a kindred spirit.

From that night we met frequently, through Heather’s kind auspices, and life was so much richer.

The movie does her justice

Memories flooded back at the world premiere of Amanda Millar’s documentary this week, an account of Celia’s life and death, and the impact she has had on thousands of people.

And this film will add significant numbers to her protagonists and adherents.

It is a beautifully shaped and desperately moving account of Celia’s life and death, and, at times, with her wit and scatalogical delivery, very funny.

The film could lose ten or fifteen minutes in another edit, but at no time does interest flag, rather, the intensity tests our staying powers.

Family and friends cooperated fully in the making of the film which must have been a hugely challenging couple of years for them.

They deserve our gratitude and admiration.

The film is already booked out at film festivals throughout New Zealand and will obviously be released general later in the year.

See it.









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