TV Cream

Films: S is for...

Skin Deep

New Zealand documentary maker Geoff Steven hit paydirt with this fictional study of an isolated NZ township which, under the auspices of its dictatorial burgermeister, decides to ‘put itself on the map’ by raising funds for a massive publicity campaign, at the centre of which is the hiring of a big city masseuse to work in the local health spa. This last appointment really puts the cat among the pigeons, as several previously tightly repressed male townsfolk start to unwind at speed over the streetwise new arrival. This is all set against a keenly- observed background of ’70s mundane small-town life, instantly recognisable to anyone from the UK (the giant thermometer showing money raised, the various parochial community events, etc.) but with many odd, typically kiwi quirks (a log-chopping contest) thrown in.

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