Posted on : 11-03-2016 | By : Cindy | In : Uncategorized
Recently I returned to New Zealand for the premiere of the brilliant movie Mahana. It is based on the book, Bulibasha, written by Witi Ihimaera (who also wrote The Whale Rider, 1987) and directed by Lee Tamahore.
Tamahore, producer Robin Scholes and actor Temuera Morrison worked together on the ‘no holds barred’ blockbuster movie, Once Were Warriors and the trio have worked their magic again. Mahana is just as gritty but smoothed with humour, beauty and evocative scenes that tug not only at the heart but also the spirit. I was carried away by the beautiful scenery of rural New Zealand and drawn back to childhood memories of 1960’s cars, shearing and life on the farm.
At the powhiri (welcoming ceremony), kaumatua Haare Williams, who wrote some of the songs and was Cultural Adviser for the movie, said that Mahana honoured the tough, hard-working Maori on whose sweat New Zealand’s economy was built. Although its story of family rivalry, deception, domination and love resonates with every culture, Mahana is proudly Maori and a must see for every New Zealander.
Yes, the premiere had the red carpet, champagne and media but it also had song, dance and prayer. It celebrated and honoured a simple yet sophisticated movie where every scene is like its own gem, from the excitement of the car race to the injustice of the courtroom to the ethereal beauty of the bee scene. I came out smiling and uplifted. I am sure you will too.
Check out the Mahana facebook page for movie clips and interviews.