Himiona Grace’s exploration of masculinity and Māori identity in THE PĀ BOYS is full of passion, creativity and anguish. The film follows a fictional Reggae band as it tours Aotearoa from Wellington to Cape Reinga, struggling to keep cohesion and community among its members. At the heart of this dramatic feature (which has its share of laughs as well) is a story about identity, and the ways in which some internalize colonization while others find ways to expunge settler culture by forging their own Māori identity that is connected with history and tradition.
On the surface Danny appears to have everything, yet he struggles to feel like he belongs. Tau on the other hand knows his history, his culture, and his place. But with that knowledge comes a burden. As the band tours, personal insecurities threaten to overwhelm the musical connection that comes so naturally to them. Their travels expose Danny and Tau to a spiritual history that cannot be avoided, and when unresolved events from their past must be confronted it’s Danny who must step out of the shadows to find understanding and belonging.
Fran Kora (from the band KORA) and Matariki Whatarau (Go Girls, The Almighty Johnsons) give captivating performances as these soulful musicians searching for meaning and place as Māori men.
Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!