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An intimate look into a farmers life, and the struggle he endures to protect the river he lives by.

The remote Eastern hill country of New Zealand is a landscape embedded deep in the psyche of all New Zealanders, a romantic pastoral idyll that shapes the national identity. Unfortunately, that landscape is being perverted and destroyed. The Pahaoa River is just one of many rural waterways that are filled with cattle and sheep that are destroying what remains of its health and natural beauty.

However not all is damaged and not all is lost.

Grant Muir is a farmer who as a lone figure casts a watchful eye over the river. Grant see's firsthand the destructive practices of his neighbours as they fence their stock onto the river that runs through his property, polluting the water, destroying the native habitat and all the animals that live in it. Now Grant has vowed to protect what he can of this mighty river.

The practice of allowing cattle to graze in rivers is widespread in New Zealand. The government representatives who are entrusted to protect natural resources turn a blind eye to the destruction. Where does this leave a nation that takes pride in its identity with the land’s natural values?

River Dog is Grant’s story, a snapshot of his life on the river, the companionship of his dogs and the beauty of the New Zealand landscape. Grant takes us through his struggles and shows us the toll it takes on him. As the water, the animals and his livelihood is threatened everyday.

Film Credits

Directors: James Muir, Oscar Daniel Hunter

Producers: James Muir

Photography: James Muir, Oscar Daniel Hunter

Editing: James Muir, Oscar Daniel Hunter

Sound: James Muir

Music: Samuel Charrington

Production Company: Mangakuri Pictures


UK Classification: None

Subtitles: No

Voiceover: No



Length: 25 min

Colour: Yes


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River Dog Screening:

  • Mon16May

    at Roxy Bar and Screen

    16 May 2011 8:30 pm

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