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network 10/12/2019 - 06:00PM



The Māori-Made Collection is a unique and stirring program of short and feature length Māori-directed fiction and documentary cinema from Aotearoa/New Zealand. Cinema Politica paired up with the New Zealand Film Commission to bring these previously unavailable films to Canada for the first time. Featured filmmakers include one of the founding figures of Indigenous cinema, Merata Mita, the critically acclaimed Taika Waititi and celebrated Fourth Cinema intellectual-artist Barry Barclay.

Our goal with this dynamic collection is to showcase an image of Aotearoa by and of its people. Barry Barclay, describing his term “Fourth Cinema”, states that its work is to "rework the ancient core values to shape a growing Indigenous cinema outside the national orthodoxy". In the vital films of this collection, "we will find examples at every turn of how the old principles have been reworked to give vitality and richness to the way we conceive, develop, manufacture and present our films." Barclay's two films included in Māori-Made, NGĀTI and TE RUA, both deal with histories of colonialism and depict impassioned battles against its power structures. 

Taika Waititi, now a household name for Hollywood hits like Thor: Ragnarok, is featured with two films in the collection. Speaking on his experience filming TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT he says: “people who’d made a lot of films before would tell me that certain shots would be better this way, and certain edits would be better that way—and they were wrong. It wasn’t my style." We for one, are thankful Waititi stuck to his own vision of cinema - his unique cinematic approach is palpable in TAMA TŪ, where the master storyteller uses humour and traditional knowledge to confront colonialism. 

We are proud to include the visually stunning MAURI, by the talented and politically-committed Merata Mita in this collection, who has said: “The revolution isn't just running out with a gun. If a film I make causes Indigenous people to feel stronger about themselves, then I'm achieving something worthwhile for the revolution.” Mita’s iconic legacy knows no limits: she was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic feature, and went on to teach documentary filmmaking after her long career of production, not to mention her decades of dedication to and involvement in social justice causes, especially indigenous liberation.

Rounding out the collection, Himiona Grace's THE PĀ BOYS is an exploration of the 'down north' of Aotearoa/New Zealand, capturing the landscape, culture and music of the place. It follows a fictional Wellingtion reggea band on a quest for identity and belonging. This outstanding first feature won Best Film gong at the 2014 Wairoa Māori Film Festival. The director is also a musician, and the creative use of documentary and fiction genres in the  film produce a rich image of New Zealand's unique musical scene. 

Check out the Māori-Made collection - you can watch online or book a film today.


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