May 7, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Films celebrated on

3 min read

Radio New Zealand reported this morning that internet audiences can watch a wide range of Maori films as part of NZ On Screen’s free Anzac collection.

Content director Irene Gardiner says Maori-themed movies and documentaries were some of the most popular items in last year’s Anzac collection.

Gardiner expects strong interest again for documentaries about Victoria Cross winners Willie Apiata and Te Moananui a Kiwa Ngarimu, RNZAF pilot John Pohe, who plotted the ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft and Maori Battalion: March to Victory by Tainui Stevens.

Taika Waititi’s short film Tama Tu is also available – the link is below.

The collection is funded by New Zealand on Air.

(Source Radio New Zealand/Waatea News)

Anzac Collection

Reluctant HeroReluctant Hero
Television, 2008 (Full Length)
In 2007 Willie Apiata, of the NZSAS, was awarded the Victoria Cross for carrying a wounded soldier to safety while under fire in Afghanistan. This documentary had exclusive access to Corporal Apiata and military personnel…

Turangaarere: The John Pohe StoryTurangaarere: The John Pohe Story
Television, 2008 (Excerpts)

Porokoru Patapu (John) Pohe was the first Maori pilot in the RNZAF. Nicknamed ‘Lucky Johnny’, he was a WWII hero who flew an amazing 22 missions, was involved in the legendary ‘Great Escape’ from Stalag Luft III, and insisted on removing his blindfold when he faced a German firing squad. This award-winning docu-drama tells Pohe’s extraordinary life story. When the doco screened on Maori Television, Listener reviewer Diana Wichtel called it “a terrific yarn”, and it won Best Documentary Aotearoa at the 2008 Wairoa Maori Film Festival Awards.

Tama T?Tama Tu
Short Film, 2004 (Full Length)

Six Maori Battalion soldiers camped in Italian ruins wait for night to fall. In the silence the bros-in-arms distract themselves with jokes. A tohu (sign) brings them back to reality and they gather to say a karakia before returning to the fray. Director Taika Waititi: “they are a bunch of young men […] who have a special bond, strengthened by their character, their culture and each other.” Shot in the rubble of the old Wellington Hospital Tama Tu won international acclaim: honourable mention at Sundance and a special jury prize at Berlin.

Not the Anzac Collection but brilliant stuff too!

Koha - Te M?ori, A Cloak of WordsKoha – Te Maori, A Cloak of Words
Television, 1984 (Full Length)

Koha – a weekly, 30-min programme broadcast in English – was the first regular Maori programme shown in primetime and provided a window into te ao Maori. This episode looks at the milestone Te Maori exhibition of Maori art. This exhibition toured the United States in 1984, opened up a world of Maori taonga to international audiences and returned home to applause and swelling Maori pride. The episode features the powhiri at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, with future Maori Party co-leaderPita Sharples leading a kapa haka performance.

Koha - Nga Pikitia M?oriKoha – Nga Pikitia Maori
Television, 1987 (Full Length)

This episode of Koha is an examination of the Maori feature film industry, from the pioneers of the silent era up to feature film Mauri. Reflection on international screenings of groundbreaking feature Ngati frames interviews with Witarina Harris, Ramai Hayward, Barry Barclay, Wi Kuki Kaa and Merata Mita. Barclay talks of the importance of Maori telling Maori stories. Weve seen heaps of pictures of cowboys and Indians eh, but theyre always made by the cowboys. Includes footage of The Devils Pit, Rewi’s Last Stand, Ngati, The Governor, and Mauri.

The Maori TodayThe Maori Today
Short Film, 1960 (Full Length)

This NFU documentary reviews Maori in New Zealand in 1960 through the lens of Pakeha boosterism. It depicts Maori cultural revival and M?ori being channeled into the cities into schools, housing, trades and labouring work. The Maori Today is of it’s time: the narration advocates that Maori land to be consolidated into a single title (an anachronistic policy today considered responsible for alienation of Maori by The Crown). However it contains some classic footage, such as artist E Mervyn Taylor working on prints inspired by Maori myth.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.