A deaf mute boy, Jonasi, the Silent One, arrives as a baby floating in from the sea to an isolated, paradisical Pacific village. He is adopted and raised by a childless woman. As a pubescent boy he is separated from the villagers and the coming-of-age rituals by his silence and their prejudices. In his isolation he seeks solace in the sea, with which he has always had a special, gifted bond. He developes a special relationship with a huge white turtle. Times are bad: the superstitious villagers blame both Jonasi and the turtle who are seen as evil spirits. A struggle for leadership sweeps Jonasi to his strange destiny. Starring Telo Malese (Jonasi), Pat Evison, Anzac Wallace, Rongo Tupatea Kahu. Spectacular underwater photography by Ron and Valerie Taylor. Based on the novel by Joy Gowley.
How to watch
In ACMI's collection
Childrens Films → Children 12+
Childrens Films → Children's films - New Zealand
Feature films → Feature films - New Zealand
Literature → New Zealand literature - Film and video adaptations
VHS; Access Print (Section 1)