Study Guide for Jane Campion’s The Piano (1993)

Some excellent questions to prompt your thinking about the film!


Study Guide for Jane Campion’s “The Piano” (1993)


  1. Jane Campion’s “The Piano” takes place in mid-19th century New Zealand. Do some research about the colonial history in New Zealand and see how it helps you understand film.
  2. Do some research about Jane Campion’s filmography to identify the common themes in her work.
  3. How does the opening sequence help you understand Ada?
  4. Why is Ada described as a “mail-order bride”?
  5. What does Ada’s muteness signify in the film?
  6. How do you think the New Zealand landscape with its forests, thick mud, sea and beach helps us understand the film?
  7. What does a comparison between Stewart’s house and Baines’ house reveal about these two characters?
  8. Analyze the characters of Stewart and Baines in relation to their relations to Ada and to the Maori.
  9. Examine Stewart’s and Baines’s clothes and discuss what they reveal about these two men.
  10. What does “land” mean to…

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