Visionary, Merata Mita continues to inspire

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The profound impact and devastating loss of pioneer filmmaker Merata Mita continues to ripple its way around the world. Not so long after she passed, a kind woman from Ireland emailed TangataWhenua.com, Ruth Lysaght.

Ruth is a film theorist who currently is doing her doctoral research at the University of Auckland comparing Maori TV and TG4 (Irish language TV) asked if she could use a graphic of Whaea Merata that we had recently developed for our online tribute.

Ruth was writing an article for the Irish language arts magazine, Comhar, on the life of Whaea Merata and her role as a visionary in the world of indigenous film.

Today is two months to the day since Whaea Merata passed and we thought it was fitting that we pass on the article (in Irish) to you. There are explanations at the bottom of each section explaining the preceding comments.

In essence the article details the life and times of Merata Mita and her uncompromising effort “to reflect a Maori point of view of our changing society. To see as a Maori sees it, to write visually as a Maori would write it.”

We also came across the incredible Wellywood Woman blog within its extensive archives we found a “DUET for MERATA MITA 1942-2010” which is described as a “beautiful, woeful, yet ultimately hopeful” celebration of Merata’s life by the collaborative efforts of Marian Evans and Cushla Parekowhai.

It is heartwarming to know that Merata touched so many lives and communities around the world and her legacy will live on for generations to come. Of interest we also noted that the Independent (UK newspaper) recently published her obituary online, click here to have a read.

Ruth Lysaght is from Ireland, and has worked in theatre, film and television as writer, script supervisor and researcher.She is also working on a book about Irish language short films.

Her interests are in language, culture and identity as seen in contemporary film and television production.

Marian Evans from Aotearoa is a cultural activist and the recipient of an Embassy Trust Prize for her MA feature script. Her recently completed PhD looks at women writers’ and directors’ participation in feature film-making. She is using her thesis screenplay, Development, to test an alternative pathway for feature film production. Marian discusses women in film with chair, Lydia Wevers.

Cushla Parekowhai has published extensively on issues relating to Maori and made a number of contributions to contemporary art historical debate in Aotearoa – New Zealand. She is interested in personal narrative as a means of understanding the origins of concept and the nature of creative motivation.

Merata Mita (Ngati Pikiao, Ngai te Rangi) a film-maker and activist, she was born at Maketu, Aotearoa, 19 June 1942; she had six children; Whaea Merata in died Auckland on31 May 2010.

Click below for more links to news of her passing:

You can watch her work on NZ On Screen:

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