The Movie

Almost two years without you Steven and I still can’t get used to being a widow. It feels so foreign to me. I hear the word widow it’s like the talking about some other Martha I don’t know.

It’s how it begins.

I decided to write in English this time because of the subject:

R u g g e d   G o l d 

Directed by Michael Anderson; Canada, New Zealand, 1994.

The movie of my life.

The story brings us from a city of 1954 to Alaska where well brought up beautiful Martha remarried to Don Martin – a gold miner, struggles against wilderness of nature gradually accepting her own role in it.

Unexpected loneliness, injury, wild animals, keeping home heated, yearning in silent whiteness and finally a delivery of a child are to be faced by her as dramatic gifts from rough yet beautiful life. It’s Martha’s personality and attitude along with her and Don’s love, love to children as well, that make the story irresistibly powerful to me.


This VHS comes from our family or friends in USA – I don’t clearly recall today. As a girl not understanding its dialogues too well I had been into it anyway. It has been calling up my younger years.

Some time ago thanks to my friend I received a book, the diary of Martha Martin, which had become the base for the film adaptation.


It remains the very thing I turn to after coming back home from different places of my adult life. First I check up the night sky if it is still full of stars to sooner or later put on at least a bit of Rugged Gold. Feels like northern lights of storytelling to me.


Jill Eikenberry as Martha Martin, Art Hindle as Don Martin, Ari Magder as Lloyd Henderson, Matha’s son from her marriage with Steven, Graham Green as Samuel Smith, Don’s partner in Alaska, Davina Whitehouse as Grandmother Kitteridge encouraging Martha to leave what she knew well and head to Alaska with Don and Lloyd, Tony Groser as Steven Henderson Senior, father in law for Martha and grandfather of Lloyd, June Bishop as Evelyn Henderson – wife of Steven Senior, mother of late Steven (Junior), grandmother of Lloyd.

The heart of the women entrusted first to a beloved aviator, tossed by his death onto rocks of widowhood and missing, won over again – trying to crate a real home for the closest ones undergoing true distress and giving both unique shapes. The heart of the man of action fighting for who he loves and has become responsible for. The joys and burdens of family life covered through script, actors’ play, scenery, action – simply, Rugged Gold.

True story, true love, true power of humanity.

May this be my tribute to it.