#StayAtHome Film Festival: Louise’s Māori and Pasifika Picks

Our Kanopy and Beamafilm streaming platforms have a great selection of FREE content from Aotearoa and the Pacific. It’s always good to see our own cultures represented on the screen, so while we are still spending a lot of time at home grab the opportunity to watch some gems that have a Māori and Pasifika kaupapa!

This blog only highlights a small selection of films including emotional movies, documentaries, and a feel good gem about musicians and finding yourself. You will find more if you search ‘Māori’, ‘New Zealand’, or a specific Pasifika country within Kanopy or Beamafilm.

Go ahead and immerse yourself in the stories of Aotearoa and the Pacific!


The Orator

Year: 2011
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Tusi Tamasese

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

The Orator is a beautiful and emotional movie that was written and directed by Samoan film-maker Tusi Tamasese and shot entirely in Samoan on location in Samoa itself. Saili’s story is one of love and challenges as he learns he must stand tall, despite his small stature, to become a hero. Highly recommended.

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You can also watch Tamasese’s other feature film, One Thousand Ropes, on Kanopy.


Kuo Hina E Hiapo: The Mulberry is White and Ready for Harvest

Year: 2001
Length: 28 minutes
Directors: Joseph Ostraff, Melinda Ostraff

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Tapa cloth is a true artistic treasure of the Pacific. In Tonga it is called ngatu and this short documentary illustrates  ngatu’s symbolic importance and collaborative production. Beautiful and fascinating!

Discover More:

Our Te Moana-Nui-A-Kiwi/Pasefika popular topic page provides links to all sorts of Pasefika books and online resources.


Mauri

Year: 1988
Length: 100 minutes
Director: Merata Mita


Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Merata Mita was the first Māori woman to write and direct a dramatic movie when she brought out Mauri in 1988. Set on the East Coast, Mauri stars Anzac Wallace (Utu) and activist Eva Rickard. This is a landmark film from a landmark Māori film maker.

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You can also watch Ngati on Kanopy, another ground-breaking  film from a Māori film maker, this time Barry Barclay.


Waru

Year: 2017
Length: 86 minutes
Directors: Ainsley Gardiner, Awanui Simich-Pene, Briar Grace Smith, Casey Kaa, Chelsea Winstanley, Katie Wolfe, Paula Whetu Jones, Renae Maihi

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

Eight female Māori directors give us eight connected stories, each taking place at the same moment in time during the tangi of a small boy called Waru. This is a very moving and challenging film with all eight stories  subtly linked while following different female characters. All must come to terms with Waru’s death and try to find a way forward within their community.

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A tangi is at the heart of Waru. If you want to learn about Māori protocols surrounding tangi, or other Māori topics, our Māori Information Resources page is an excellent place to start.


The Rain of the Children

Year: 2008
Length: 102 minutes
Director: Vincent Ward

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

I love this film. Vincent Ward’s beautiful dramatic documentary explores the life of Tuhoe woman Puhi and her relationship to Rua Kenana and the community at Maungapohatu. Ward looks at the curse Puhi believed she lived under in an incredibly moving way, and the result is a jewel of a film.

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You can also watch Vincent Ward’s first film about Puhi, In Spring One Plants Alone, on Kanopy.


The Deadlands

Year: 2013
Length: 107 minutes
Director: Toa Fraser

Watch the full film here on Beamafilm!

Woo hoo! Revenge and action abound in Toa Fraser’s movie starring James Rolleston and Lawrence Makoare. You gotta love the use of mau rākau – a traditional Māori martial art – and a script in te reo Māori!

Discover More:

If you want to start learning te reo Māori our recent Resources to Learn Māori blog can help with all sorts of tips to get you started.


The Pa Boys

Year: 2014
Length: 90 minutes
Director: Himiona Grace

Watch the full film here on Kanopy!

My whānau love this heartfelt film about a musician and his reggae band on a road trip of music and self discovery. Francis Kora is wonderful as Danny who is unsettled, and then opened up to his culture, when Tau (Matariki Whatarau) joins the band. Music, landscape, laughs and love – beautiful and simple.

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The band in The Pa Boys sets out from Wellington where Danny lives. If you love the music scene in Wellington you can learn more about it on our dedicated Wellington Music page.

King George Tupou V

King George Tupou V of the South Pacific nation of Tonga has died at the age of 63. Tonga is the last Polynesian monarchy, although the king was instrumental in bringing about democratic reform. He had been king since 2006. The following are featured books from some of our collection on Tonga and its history, focussing on the Tongan monarchy and the democratic changes that occured during the reign of King George Tupou V.

Syndetics book coverTonga’s way to democracy / Ian C. Campbell.
“In 2010 after more than a century of oligarchial government Tonga made the bold step to full parliamentary democracy, catching up with the rest of ther island Pacific. This book tells the story of that reform, of the long protest movement that preceded i and how the royal family abruptly espoused democracy.” – (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverIsland kingdom : Tonga ancient and modern / I.C. Campbell.
“Uniquely among the nations of the Pacific Islands, Tonga was never subject to direct European rule at any point in its history. Since the original settlement of the islands, Tongans have been masters of their archipelago, developing a distinctive and elegant culture. Amid rapid modernisation the ancient kingdom has survived.” – (Adapted from back cover)

Syndetics book coverQueen Salote of Tonga : the story of an era, 1900-1965 / Elizabeth Wood-Ellem.
“A biography of the queen. Her life is seen in the context of political, social and economic developments in Tonga. There is a detailed study of kinship and principles of hierarchy. 125 photographs are included. A glossary of Tongan words and phrases and an alphabetical list of people are provided. The work is based on the author’s doctoral thesis.” – (Syndetics summary)

The new friendly islanders : the Tonga of King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV / Kenneth Bain ; foreword by His Majesty King Taufa-Ahau Tupou IV!.
“A rounded and vivid picture emerges of an ancient South Seas island society of great character and special quality – yet under pressure for change, beset by factional debate and, some also fear, on the brink of popular unrest. So, while the people look critically at themselves and their institutions, Kenneth Bain asks what the future holds for Tongans as they approach the millennium.” – (Adapted from back cover)