“How can we take that maverick yet fond friend of ours—the camera—into the Māori community and be confident it will act with dignity?”Barry Barclay, “Our Own Image”, 1990.
Aotearoa, also known as New Zealand, has enjoyed ample screen time in Hollywood and mainstream cinema, but this powerful collection showcases an image of the “land of the long white cloud” from and by its people.
Through an exclusive partnership with the New Zealand Film Commission (NZFC), Cinema Politica is proud to distribute six Māori-made titles from the NZFC’s rich filmography featuring classics by Merata Mita and Barry Barclay (along with one non-Māori director). While Mita and Barclay are founding figures of both Māori and Indigenous cinemas, we are delighted to also bring to Canadian audiences other less known, but equally deserving titles in this collection.
Director and Māori intellectual Barry Barclay’s stunning first film NGĀTI is part of this collection, grappling with colonialism, identity, love, trauma, history and the future. Reflecting on colonial legacies of cultural theft and appropriation, Barclay’s TE RUA tells the story of an art heist like none other, as three young Māori artists conspire to recover stolen artifacts from a museum in Berlin.
THE PĀ BOYS by Himiona Grace is an uplifting road movie that takes viewers on a journey across Aotearoa, immersed in music, youthful rebellion, and the quest for identity and friendship. Critically acclaimed director Taika Waititi is featured with his war film, TAMA TŪ, and short comedy TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT.
Merata Mita’s MAURI is the first dramatic feature of its kind directed by a Māori woman. Much like Abenaki documentary-maker Alanis Obamsowin, the strength of Merata Mita’s storytelling has left an indelible imprint on global Indigenous cinema.
Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!
This collection is released in collaboration with the New Zealand Film Commission.