Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1959.13/26576
- Medicine, sexuality, and high anxiety in 1950s New Zealand: Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (1994)
- Heavenly Creatures is a filmic representation of the 1954 Parker–Hulme murder case. The depth of reaction to the case can be explained both by the rarity of the crime committed—a matricide—and the transgression of normative boundaries of gender and sexuality in the 1950s. It was also New Zealand’s most public postwar moment involving the perception of a homosexual relationship. This paper considers how Peter Jackson and his partner/co-screenwriter, Fran Walsh, have presented an alternative history of the case using a visual text. In particular, the paper focuses on anxieties around sexual deviance and the use of medicine and psychiatry to diagnose, control, and remedy its manifestation. Both the sensibilities of Jackson’s present—the 1990s—and his filmmaking techniques impact centrally on his portrayal of the case.
- Health and History Vol. 8, Issue 2, p. 147-175
- Australian and New Zealand Society of the History of Medicine
New Zealand films
- Resource Type
- journal article