The memorable, true story of New Zealand woman, Sylvia Ashton-Warner, who overcame many obstacles to become an internationally acclaimed teacher and a best selling writer.
Sylvia tells the real story of the most crucial years of her life, when she was living in a remote Maori settlement in the North Island of New Zealand, and developing a revolutionary method of teaching which was to bring her to world attention.
Sylvia Ashton-Warner's childhood was spent in poverty. Her father was crippled. Her mother, with nine other children, taught at an endless succession of schools, to which her growing family trailed after her, sharing hardships and domestic chores.
Music, painting and writing became Sylvia's most cherished activities, but teaching was the only work which she could find. So she graduated as a teacher, married a teacher and spent more than 20 years working with infant groups.
The film captures the powerful love story between Sylvia an her husband; and it movingly depicts her close relationship with a school inspector who was one of her few supporters at a time when the New Zealand authorities were ignoring her work.
Sylvia is not the first movie based on Sylvia Ashton-Warner's work. her first novel, "Spinster", was filmed in Hollywood in 1961, with Shirley MacLaine in the starring role.
The movie Sylvia shows how this extraordinary woman came to create her revolutionary methods.