Amanda Evans: When your Gloriavale reality is not mine
By: Amanda Evans 16/08/2016
Amanda Evans has directed and produced three top-rating Gloriavale documentaries for TVNZ. Here she responds to criticism from one former resident of the South Island religious community that the documentaries don’t dig deep enough.
Having read Melissa Harrison’s criticism of Gloriavale – A Woman’s Place, it’s clear she is very angry about her family’s treatment by the community. It’s a well-documented phenomenon that families who leave closed communities like Gloriavale (or the Amish) are shunned by their families and not invited back. It is painful and psychologically damaging, without a doubt. I am surprised to read she was invited for a return visit, which shows some softening at Gloriavale to the previously ‘dead-to-me’ attitude to the departed.