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Sister Galvan


Sister Galvan is a feature about Galvan Macnamara, who died not long after we launched the film, at Mahi Ata Mahi Ahua: Women's Work in Film (2003). It's more than a decade old, but I still feel sad when I watch the excerpts below, can't watch the whole film. I miss Galvan.
Galvan with his inula plant
New Zealand’s Sister Wendy does not have a TV show: Galvan Macnamara lives a hermit’s life on the banks of the Waiohine River in the Wairarapa. A legendary arts professional, familiar to many as James Mack (he took his father’s name when he turned 60) he spends his days with his much-loved dog Ozka-Ra and his chooks, reading and thinking and looking and praying and delighting in magic moments. Talking with a lesbian feminist and her son as they explore how difference (of gender, generation, sexuality) affect the questions asked, the stories told and the way these stories are listened to, Galvan presents his experience of gay life, prostate cancer, tattooing, Richard Grune and Colin McCahon. He also talks abut Rodney Kennedy, the man he wishes had been his father.

interviewer Penn Evans with Galvan after visiting a Colin McCahon show


Galvan and Ozka-Ra, outside the caravan where they lived


Galvan on What Makes A Gay Man
Galvan on Colin McCahon
Galvan on Holocaust artist Richard Grune

Distributor: Galloping Films




‘Marian Evans’ [film] was sheer joy.’ – Linda Clark, Sunday Star Times
 
‘It's an amazing wonderful open and at times funny film – just delightful.’ – Jenny Gibbs

‘I LOVED it. It is very rich and thought provoking. Well, Sister Galvan is thought provoking, the film is thoughtful–every frame. It has a lovely look to it. I really like documentaries that are personal like this and I think you have exploited the possibilities of NOT having to put it on the free to air network. It is something which will get to be more and more valuable as time goes on.’ – Gaylene Preston



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