No.2 - Folder Resource Material

1 Brainstorm words to do with ‘family’
2 Do you think you have a duty to your family? In what ways? Can you been an independent person, but be dutiful and loving towards your family at the same time? Do you think maintaining the balance between the individual and the family is more difficult in different cultures? Explain.

Background & The Film Maker
Toa Fraser was born in Britain in 1975 to a British mother and a Fijian father and moved to Auckland in 1989. He was educated at Auckland's Sacred Heart College and the University of Auckland.

His first play, Bare, premiered in 1998 and achieved national and international success, winning Best New Play and Best New Playwright at the New Zealand Chapman Tripp Awards. It played to considerable acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1999.

In that same year, Fraser followed up Bare with the solo show, No. 2, performed by Madeleine Sami. No.2 won a prestigious Festival First Award when it was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2000, and has since had rave reviews in Jamaica, Australia, the UK, and recently it was translated into Spanish for the Cervantino Festival in Mexico.

In 1999, he won New Zealand's prestigious Sunday Star Times Bruce Mason Award.

His work continues to be informed by his Fijian/British heritage, as demonstrated by his third play, Paradise, which premiered in Wellington, in April 2001.

For his first feature film No.2, Toa Fraser has written and directed a screen adaptation of his internationally acclaimed, award-winning stage play of the same name. No.2 has transformed from a one-woman stage show into a screenplay for a large ensemble cast. The film marks Fraser's directorial debut.

No.2 commenced principal photography March 3, 2005 and wrapped April 17 2005. The 37 day shoot occurred during a vintage New Zealand summer. Post production was completed at Peter Jackson's facility Park Road Post in Wellington.

During Viewing
3 The most touching scenes in the film are …
4 The most exciting scenes in the film are …
5 Explain Soul’s number plate ‘Raskil’.
6 Design a family tree and place the following characters in it: Grandfather Joseph, Nana Maria, John, Cat, Percy, Michael, Erasmus (Mus), Tyson, Hibiscus, Charlene, Soul, Nia and Moses.
7 Write down some questions that you would like to ask the director. Explain why each of your questions is important.
8 Copy the statements which show what the film maker shows in the film. Be ready with your reasons and examples from the film.
A Family is important to Nana Maria.
B Crispy becomes a part of the family.
C The door is nailed shut because it is broken.
D Tyson does not like his family.
E Each member of the family is an individual.
9 Write a 60 word plot summary to be read aloud at a Yr 12 assembly to promote the lunchtime viewing of this film. Try reducing your plot summary to 50 words, then 30 and finally, 15 words!

Post Viewing
10 After viewing ‘No 2’ more than once complete a K W L chart like the one below:
What I Know … What I still Want to know What I have Learnt …
The film is set in Auckland Why did Nana Maria … that actions speak louder than words

11 Nana Maria
Memorable Moments:
A What does Nana mean when she says:
“How are they (the great grandchildren) going to learning anything if they have to go to school all the time?”
B What does this quotation reveal about Nana Maria? “This place is as boring as hell. Before there used to be laughing and singing and swearing and fighting, there used to be big fights all the time. There is none of that anymore.”
C Sicily – what is the reason for Nana’s frequent referrals to Sicily (an island off the coast of Italy)? How does she want her party to be like one in Sicily?
D “At the end of the day I will name my successor.” What does the successor inherit? Why is Nana Maria so determined to appoint her successor?
E Draw Nana Maria’s bedside table. Label the objects, and explain the significance (if any) of the objects.

12 Soul

A At the start Nana Maria calls Soul, “this boy”. Why does she treat him so ‘meanly’ near the start of the film?
B At the start he refers to himself as the ‘Raskil’ – what does this reveal about the way Soul seems himself at that stage? Why do you think he has taken on that role in life?
C Does Soul speak Fijian?
D Father Francis tells Soul all Soul can do is “show compassion for one another.” What is compassion and how is it shown in the film?
E Why does Soul invite everyone to Nana Maria’s party?
F When Soul is dancing with Maria and he slaps her behind, does he know Tyson is watching? If so, why does he then slap Maria on the butt? Is he not asking for trouble!
G “What do you want me to do, Nana?” asks Soul after he is named successor. What does this reveal about Soul and Nana Maria’s appointment?
H “With you in the house, it will always be alive.” What does Nana Maria mean when she gives this as her answer for why she appointed Soul successor?
I How are Soul and Nana Maria similar? To answer this question, bear in mind this quote from Soul, “Every day I try and do something for my family.” You might choose to show this in some kid of diagram form or visually.
J Why is Soul’s name appropriate?

13 Mus
A Why does Mus have some authority in the family?
B Were you surprised he was not appointed Nana Maria’s successor?

14 Charlene and Hibiscus
A Complete a compare and contrast diagram (see you home/independent learning booklet for an example) to show how the characters’ similarities and differences.
B Choose, draw/find and explain a symbol to represent Charlene and one to represent Hibiscus.
C Why does Charlene inherit the house?
D How does standing up and singing a song at the party, illustrate Hibicus’s growth or development as a character?

E How is it shown in the film that Charlene is moving forward from traditional ways of doing things?

15 Tyson
A How is his world different from that of his cousins? Rule up two boxes, 5cm x 5cm. In one represent Tyson’s world as it is shown at the start of the film. In the other, depict the world of Mt Roskill that his cousins live in.
B What does his character teach the audience about?

16 Shelley and Maria
A How are these characters outsiders? (Think about the way the director has portrayed them.)
B How do they try to ‘fit in’?
C Why do they try to fit in?
D Why does Nana Maria connect with Maria?
E How is their acceptance into the family communicated visually by the director.
F What does their gradual acceptance show or teach the audience?

17 The Parents
Nana Maria’s children argue with each other and their mother. They are mean to their children, for example when it is discovered that Tyson has been helping Nana Maria with repairs to the house, his father says, “You don’t even own your own house yet. I did that by the time I was 19.”
A Copy other quotes from the film to show how critical they are of their children?
B How is the way they treat their children, a reflection of the way Nana Maria treated/s them?

18 Traditional Beliefs
A The Door – “You are an embarrassment to this family,” says John to his nephew Soul when he opens the door. “It isn’t about old ways son. It’s about respect!” says John to his son Mus after the door is opened. What is the Fijian belief behind the nailed shut door? Who opens it, why and what does the opening of the door symbolise? Research similar customs ore beliefs from other cultures.
B Kava – what the rules surrounding the preparation and consumption of kava? How, why, by whom are these rules broken in the film? What’s the purpose of having the characters break the rules?
C Women in the kitchen and men out hunting – in order to maintain family links, it is important to maintain traditions. Discuss in your small group and make some notes on the key points to each side of the debate.

D Mus passes over the tabua on behalf of his dead father. What is a tabua and what does it symbolise in the film?
E Can you be imprisoned by beliefs?
F Reconciliation is an important idea in the film. There is reconciliation between the past and present and between parents and their children. Write a brief paragraph to explain the idea of reconciliation in the film. Make sure you use examples in your paragraph.
G “I don’t want any outsiders.” Why not?

19 The Feel of the Film
A Watch Toa Fraser’s ‘Behind the Scenes’ feature on the dvd. He says he wanted the film to feel real. How has he achieved this feeling of real life? Comment on Fraser’s use of dialogue, settings, costume, characterisation.

20 Cinematography
A Re-watch the lip stick scene, Chapter 8, and complete the following tasks:
  • Describe the setting.
  • Describe the tone/atmosphere of this sequence. HOW is it created?
  • What does sound contribute to this sequence?
  • What is the effect of certain shots in this sequence? Explain what they are and why you think they have been used eg close-up, establishing shot, etc
  • How does this sequence contribute to character and/or plot development and/or communicating themes?
  • What important ideas are highlighted in this sequence?

B Re-view the closing sequence of the film – after Nana Maria goes inside. What is Fraser’s intention and how is this intention achieved? Discuss what makes the ending satisfying.
C Is there one pivotal scene in this film? What is it? Why is it pivotal? How is its importance in the whole film communicated?

21 Symbols
A What does the house in the film represent?

22 Music

A The 3 mains types of music used in the film are: Italian Opera, NZ music and traditional Fijian music. Using the credits from the film or the subtitles, list the titles of the songs used by the director.
B When does the director use each type of music – list the events in the film when there is music playing. Eg boys carry the pig over the hill – the opera reaches a crescendo or climax. You might choose to put questions B and C into a table.

Boys carry dead pig over the hill
Core Ngrato – loud, climaxes
Gives a feeling that the boys have been in battle and are returning home victorious.
Everyone arrives for the party
Bathe in the River

C Explain why the director chose to use each type of music. Link your answers to theme, characterisation, setting, etc. Use the www to find information on the Core Ngrato opera.

23 Response, Reviews and Opinions
A Find two published reviews of at least 300 words in length. Preferably, one from a NZ source and one from overseas. Go through them and in one colour highlight facts, in a different colour highlight the authors’ opinions.

B Put the following elements of a film into your order of importance – explain your choices….
  • The script
  • The direction – what choices the director makes
  • The acting
  • The cinematography
  • The special effects
  • The music
Give some examples from No. 2 to support your point of view.